President Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango has died at the age of 61, according to WCVB Boston. Onyango is known for having fought deportation and was the subject of some controversy during Obama’s run for president in the 2008 election.
According to the office of Cleveland attorney Margaret Wong, Onyango’s lawyer, she died of cancer and respiratory issues at a rehabilitation hospital in Massachusetts.
Onyango, originally from Kenya, moved to the United States in 2000 and had been living the country illegally after being ordered to return to her home country back in 2004. She continued to live in public housing in Boston up until the time of her death. Onyango was denied asylum in 2002 but was granted it later in 2010.
The Associated Press had revealed Onyango’s illegal status just before Obama’s election in 2008 when he was still a candidate, which was of course the subject of some controversy. Obama himself was called into question for quite some time with many members of the press having demanded to see his birth certificate, questioning whether or not he was actually a native born citizen.
Obama denied having known that his aunt was living in the country illegally and stated he believed immigration laws should be followed.
Onyango was the stepsister of Obama’s late father, Barack Obama Sr.
The President has yet to come out and make a statement regarding his aunts death.
Funeral arrangements for Onyango are still being made and have yet to be announced.
President Obama’s Aunt Zeituni Onyango Has Died at 61