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Obama's granny dies of cancer in Hawaii

world Updated: Nov 04, 2008 08:30 IST
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Barack Obama's grandmother, who helped raise the US Democratic presidential candidate in Hawaii, passed away on Monday after a prolonged battle with cancer.

Madelyn Dunham, 85, had been gravely ill for weeks, prompting Obama to interrupt his campaign for a few days last month to visit her in Honolulu, Hawaii.

"She was the cornerstone of our family and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength and humility," read a statement from Obama and his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. "Our debt to her is beyond measure."

The news of Dunham's passing comes just one day before the US presidential election, which has Obama holding a significant lead over Republican rival John McCain.

Obama has often paid tribute to Dunham and mentioned her strong influence on him when he accepted the Democratic nomination in September.

"My mother was a single mom, so she raised me with the help of my grandparents. And so my grandmother, my grandfather, my mom, they're really the people who took care of me all throughout my childhood," he said at the time of his visit to Hawaii October 24.