Barack Obama says ‘I wish I’d had a father’
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones in Chicago and Jon Swaine
The Telegraph, 16 Feb 2013
In an unusually personal speech at a school in his old Chicago eighbourhood, Mr Obama, who was raised by his mother, said his attempts to introduce new gun control laws must be matched by more men behaving like role models who are “held up in respect” by their sons, grandsons and nephews.
“There’s no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families, which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood,” said Mr Obama.
Hailing his “heroic” late mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, “who gave everything she had to raise me”, “At the same time, I wish I had had a father who was around and involved”.
Barack Obama senior, a Kenyan economist, divorced Ms Dunham in 1964, three years after the birth of their son. A heavy drinker, he died in a 1982 car accident, 11 years after he last saw Barack junior.