4 Nov 2008

Obama's grandmother dies

7:05 pm on 4 November 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama announced on Monday that his grandmother Madelyn Dunham has died from cancer, aged 86.

Her death was announcerd in a joint statement issued by Senator Obama and his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng.

The statement said: "She was the cornerstone of our family and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances."

Mr Obama took a day-and-a-half away from the campaign trail late last month to visit Mrs Dunham in Hawaii after saying she may not live until the election on Tuesday.

She had osteoporosis and cancer. Her health further deteriorated after she recently broke her hip.

Mr Obama barely knew his Kenyan-born father. Mrs Dunham helped raise him as a boy. She was his last surviving older relative; his mother died from cancer over a decade ago.