Just a day before the election, Sen. Barack Obama’s grandmother, a woman whom he says taught him “accountability and self-reliance,” has died of cancer.

Madelyn Dunham, 86, has been severely ill since recently breaking her hip, according to the CBC.

As the Illinois senator says, “Toot” (his affectionate version of the word “Tutu” which means grandparent in Hawaiian) was the “rock” of his family growing up.‚  She worked long hours with little rest to make sure Obama earned a world-class education and reached his potential. “She poured everything she had into me” he said in his speech at the Democratic National Convention this August.

Obama learned of her death early this morning while campaigning in Jacksonville.

“She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength and humility,” said Obama in a joint statement with his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng.

The presidential candidate also told media he plans to continue campaigning, according to CBC.

In October, Obama took a break from his campaign to visit his ailing “Toot” in Hawaii.‚  He told media he didn’t want to make the same mistake he did with his mother, to whom he didn’t get the opportunity to say goodbye before she died of ovarian cancer in 1995.

About The Author

Sachin Seth is the Blast Magazine world news reporter. He writes the Terra blog. You can visit his website at http://sachinseth.com or follow him on twitter @sachinseth

Leave a Reply