Barack Obama Sr.

President Obama has claimed his father’s education in the United States was financed through the efforts of Kenyan independence leader Tom Mboya and President John F. Kennedy, but newspaper archives indicate Barack Obama Sr. came to Hawaii in 1959 with his own savings.

Previously, WND reported that Barack Obama Sr. was not brought to the U.S. to study in Hawaii in 1959 by any organized airlift of Kenyan students, including those organized by baseball great Jackie Robinson, with the assistance of JFK.

Nor was Obama Sr. on any of the three subsequently chartered airplanes in what became known as the “second airlift” organized by Mboya in 1960 after Joseph P. Kennedy contributed $100,000 to Robinson’s effort.

Obama’s father spent personal savings

WND has found in the newspaper archives at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., a Honolulu Star-Bulletin article by reporter Shurei Hirozawa, published Sept. 19, 1959. The article contains an interview with Barack Obama Sr. shortly after he arrived in Hawaii from Kenya.

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“He (Obama Sr.) clerked several years in the capital city of Nairobi to save enough for a college education and picked the University of Hawaii when he read in an American magazine about its racial tolerance,” Hirozawa wrote.

“But the money he saved will only stretch out for two semesters or less because of the high cost of living in Hawaii, he found out,” Hirozawa continued. “He’ll work, he says, and probably apply for a scholarship.”

The Hirozawa article makes clear that Obama Sr. had no scholarship when he started at the University of Hawaii in 1959.

A screen capture of the Hirozawa article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin shows the date line from Honolulu, Sept. 19, 1959:

JFK did not pay

Barack Obama Jr.’s claim that John F. Kennedy brought his father to the United States to study was made March 4, 2007, in a speech Obama delivered from the pulpit of the historic Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma, Alabama.

Obama declared he owed his very existence to Selma, according to a transcript of the speech and a video clip posted on

A few minutes into the speech, Obama began discussing the protests in Selma, Ala., and Birmingham, Ala., that were instrumental to Martin Luther King building the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

He invented some dialogue in which he mused, “It worried the folks in the White House who said, ‘You know, we’re battling communism. How are we going to win hearts and minds all across the world if right here in our own country, John, we’re not observing the ideals set forth in our Constitution? We might be accused of being hypocrites.”

Obama continued: “This young man named Barack Obama got one of those tickets and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great-great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves. But she had a good idea there was some craziness going on, because they looked at each other, and they decided that we know that in the world as it has been it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child.”

But JFK was not in the White House until Jan. 20, 1961, and he did not participate in the decision Mboya made in Kenya to organize the September 1959 airlift.

A transcript received by WND from the University of Hawaii confirms that Barack Obama Sr. was enrolled for the fall term 1959.

Mboya did not pay

Hirozawa’s article makes clear that Obama Sr. was fully settled in Hawaii and enrolled at the University of Hawaii, only nine days after the Jackie Robinson airlift from Kenya landed in New York Sept. 9, 1959, with 81 students aboard.

Barack Obama Sr. was not listed on the manifest of the 81 students found by WND in the manuscript collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Tom Shachtman, author of the 2009 book “Airlift to America: How Barack Obama, Sr., John F. Kennedy, Tom Mboya and 800 East African Students Changed Their World and Ours,” confirmed that Obama Sr. got to the United States ahead of any airlift organized by JFK, Mboya or Robinson.

“In trying to make the connection between himself and President Kennedy more direct, candidate Obama, based on incomplete information, made a mistake about his own history, saying that his father’s journey to America in 1959 had been aided by the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation,” Shachtman wrote on page 11 of his book. “Not exactly, fact-checkers soon found out.”

On pages 6-9, Shachtman wrote that Mrs. Helen Roberts and Miss Elizabeth Mooney, “a literary specialist,” financially assisted Obama in leaving Kenya:

As far as can be determined from incomplete records, Mrs. Roberts and Miss Mooney paid [Obama Sr.’s] fare to Hawaii and provided a partial scholarship. Mboya, while unable to transport the twenty-three-year-old, did put him on the [African American Students Foundation Inc.] list to receive one of the handful of scholarships contributed by former baseball star Jackie Robinson, which the Scheinman foundation was administering, and encouraged him to look to the AASF for further help if needed, which he later did.

This version is confirmed by a letter the Washington Post reported to be archived in the Mboya papers at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. An international literary agent named Elizabeth Mooney Kirk, who had traveled widely in Kenya, wrote to Mboya in May 1962 to request additional funds to “sponsor Barack Obama for graduate study, preferably at Harvard.”

According to the Washington Post report, Kirk said she would “like to do more” to assist the young man but had two stepchildren ready for college.

On page 427 of “Dreams from My Father,” Obama credits Kirk with having written college recommendation letters for his father that led to him being accepted at the University of Hawaii.

William X. Scheinman was a Wall Street broker who befriended Mboya on a trip to Africa in 1956 and subsequently involved himself in financing the students Mboya airlifted to the U.S. from Africa.

Leftist activist financed Obama Sr.

Leftist activist Cora Weiss provides the answer to who funded Obama Sr.’s education in Hawaii.

In a letter dated May 7 to the New York Times, Weiss acknowledges that Obama came to Hawaii on his own.

“Barack Obama Sr., who greatly admired Mboya, did not come on the first flight, but he was a member of the airlift generation, arriving here in 1959 with the support of two American women teachers.”

Weiss goes on to state that the African American Students Foundation Inc. provided Obama Sr. with three grants, allowing him to continue his studies at the University of Hawaii after his personal savings were exhausted.

Shachtman confirms this in “Airlift to America,” writing on page 9 that the African American Students Foundation sent Obama Sr. checks while he was at the University of Hawaii, “in increments of $50 or $150 for expenses, $243 for tuition.”

Shachtman further noted Obama Sr. “was mostly supported by Mooney, who in 1960 had married an expatriate American, Elmer Kirk, and shortly moved with her husband back to the United States.”

Shachtman also commented that “some Kennedy money was later used to assist [Obama Sr.] in Hawaii,” although Shachtman failed to provide details.

As identified by David Horowitz’s, Weiss has served since its inception in 1959 as the president of the Samuel Rubin Foundation, named for her father, the Faberge millionaire and secret Communist Party USA member and identified Comintern agent.

Horowitz also credits Weiss with being a principal financier and board member of the Institute of Policy Studies that was founded with a 1963 grant from the Rubin Foundation.

Weiss’s husband, Peter, is chairman of the Institute of Policy Services board of trustees and a member of the National Lawyers Guild and the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, both of which were created as Communist Party front organizations.

The Institute of Policy Studies has advanced leftist causes since its foundation; the Institute’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., was a place for KGB agents from the nearby Soviet embassy to convene and strategize, according to the website.

In her May 7 letter to the New York Times, Weiss said the African American Students Foundation was formed after Mboya’s trip to the U.S. in April 1959, seeking scholarships so Kenyans and other East Africans “could secure the education never offered under British colonialism.”

According to Weiss, the founders of the African American Students Foundation included William X. Scheinman, singer Harry Belafonte, actor Sidney Poitier, Jackie Robinson, civil rights activists Frank Montero and Ted Kheel, as well as Mrs. Ralph Bunche and Mrs. Chester Bowles, “and a host of educators and me.”

Weiss noted the African American Students Foundation brought 773 students from Kenya and East Africa to the U.S. between 1959 and 1963.

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