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Stanley Armour Dunham (March 23, 1918–February 8, 1992) was the Americanmarker grandfather of U.S. President Barack Obama. He and his wife Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham raised Barack from the age of 10 in Honolulu, Hawaiimarker.

Early life

Stanley Dunham was born in Wichita, Kansasmarker, the second child of Ralph Waldo Emerson Dunham, Sr. and Ruth Lucille Armour. His father's ancestors settled in Kempton, Indianamarker in the 1840's, before relocating to Kansasmarker. His parents were married in Wichitamarker at a home on S. Saint Francis St. and opened The Travelers' Cafe on William Street, sandwiched between the old firehouse and the old Wichita City Hall.

In 1926, at age 8, Stanley discovered his mother's body after she had committed suicide at the age of 26. Following his mother's suicide, his father abandoned the family and Stanley and his older brother, Ralph Emerson Dunham, were sent to live with their maternal grandparents in El Dorado, Kansasmarker. A rebellious teenager, he allegedly punched his high school principal and spent some time drifting, hopping rail cars to Chicago, then California, then back again. Stanley married Madelyn Payne on May 5, 1940, which was the night of Madelyn's senior prom.

Adult life

After the outbreak of World War II, Stanley Dunham enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army on January 18, 1942, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

He served in Europe with the 1830th Ordnance Supply and Maintenance Company, Aviation. During D-Day, this unit helped to support the 9th Air Force. They were deployed in France six weeks after D-Day.

Stanley’s older brother Ralph Emerson Dunham, great-uncle to Barack, landed at Normandy's Omaha Easy Red beach on D-Day plus four. Before the Invasion of Normandymarker, the brothers once met accidentally while Stanley went in search of rations at the Hotel Russellmarker in London, where Ralph happened to be staying.

Madelyn gave birth to a daughter they named Stanley Ann, who was later known as Ann, at Fort Leavenworthmarker on November 29, 1942. During the war, Madelyn Dunham worked on a Boeing B-29 assembly line in Wichitamarker.

After two years of military service in Europe (1943-1945), Stanley was discharged from the U.S. Army on August 30, 1945. After the war, the family moved to Berkeley, Californiamarker and then eventually back to El Dorado, Kansasmarker, where Stanley managed a furniture store. In 1955, Stanley and Madelyn moved to Seattle, Washingtonmarker, where he worked as a salesman for the Standard-Grunbaum Furniture Company, and where their daughter Stanley Ann attended Eckstein Middle School. They lived in an apartment in the Wedgewood Estates in the Wedgwood, Seattle neighborhood. In 1956 they moved to the Shorewood Apartments on Mercer Islandmarker, a Seattle suburb, where they lived until 1960 and where their daughter Ann Dunham attended Mercer Island High School. In 1957 Stanley began working for the Doces Majestic Furniture Company.

Hawaiian years



Madelyn and Stanley then moved to Honolulu, Hawaiimarker, where he found a better furniture store opportunity. Madelyn started working at the Bank of Hawaii in 1960, and was promoted as one of the first female bank vice presidents in 1970. In 1970s Honolulu, both women and the minority white population were routinely the target of discrimination.

Raising Barack Obama

Barack Obama with his grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii
In Barack Obama's memoir, Dreams From My Father, he mentions, "One of my earliest memories is of sitting on my grandfather's shoulders as the astronauts from one of the Apollo missions arrived at Hickam Air Force Base after a successful splashdown."

After the Obama marriage fell apart, the young Barack spent four years with his mother and her second husband in Jakarta, Indonesiamarker. He returned to the United States at age ten to live with his maternal grandparents in the Makiki district of Honolulumarker and enrolled in the fifth grade at the Punahou Schoolmarker. The tuition fees for the prestigious preparatory school were paid with the aid of scholarships. Ann would later come back to Hawaii and pursue graduate studies; she eventually earned a PhD in anthropology and went on to be employed on development projects in Indonesia and around the world helping impoverished women obtain microfinance. When she returned to Indonesia in 1977 for her Masters' fieldwork, Obama stayed in the United States with his grandparents. Obama writes in his memoir, Dreams From My Father, "I’d arrived at an unspoken pact with my grandparents: I could live with them and they'd leave me alone so long as I kept my trouble out of sight."

Death

Stanley Dunham died in Honolulu, Hawaiimarker in 1992 and is buried there in the Punchbowl National Cemeterymarker. Madelyn Dunham took care of her daughter in Hawaii in the months before Ann died in 1995 at age 52. Her last interview was in 2004, on the occasion of her grandson's keynote address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Ancestry

Dunham's heritage consists of English and other European ancestors who settled in the American colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Stanley’s first ancestor to be born in the United States was Jonathan Singletary Dunham, born in Newbury, Massachusettsmarker in 1640. The most recent native European ancestor was Falmouth Kearney, a farmer who emigrated from Moneygall, County Offaly, Irelandmarker during the Great Irish Famine and settled in Jefferson Township, Tipton County, Indianamarker. Kearney's youngest daughter, Mary Ann (Kearney) Dunham, was Stanley Dunham's paternal grandmother.

Stanley Armour Dunham’s distant cousins include six US presidents: James Madison, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Through a common ancestor, Mareen Duvall, a wealthy Huguenot merchant who emigrated to Maryland in the 1650s, Stanley Dunham is related to former Vice-President Dick Cheney (an eighth cousin once removed). Through another common ancestor, Hans Gutknecht, a Swiss German from Bischwiller, Alsacemarker whose three sons resettled in Germantown, Pennsylvaniamarker as well as the Kentucky frontier in the mid-1700s, Stanley Dunham is President Harry S. Truman's fourth cousin, twice removed.



Ancestry chart source: New England Historic Genealogical Society

References

External links




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