Barack Obama's Half-Brother Sells Personal Letter

Barack Obama's Half-Brother Sells Personal Letter

The 1995 note reveals the president entered politics over civil rights.

Published June 28, 2015

A letter written by President Barack Obama to his half-brother Malik Abongo Obama, which Abongo put up for sale last week, reveals the president's reason for getting into politics.

“Some colleagues of mine here have talked me into running for the Illinois State Senate (like being an MP for a province),” Obama wrote in July 1995, before his political career began. “I have agreed, since I have an interest in politics to deal with some serious ­issues blacks face here.” 

He continues, “Of course, it involves a lot of campaigning, going to meetings and so on, which I don’t find so attractive. Anyway, if I win it will only be a part-time post, and I will ­continue my work as a lawyer.” 


The handwritten note, penned 20 years ago, has been sold to a private collector, including an early manuscript of Obama's memoir Dreams of My Father, which includes the POTUS's annotations.

Abongo, who lives in Kenya and shares the same father, also sold two other handwritten letters from Obama for nearly $15,000 each in 2013. Earlier this year, he called Obama a “schemer” and said, “he’s not been an honest who he is and what he says and how he treats people.”

The amount paid for the letter was not disclosed, though it couldn't have come cheap. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/LANDOV)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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