Friday, November 6, 2009


Each morning I scan the newspapers - The Riverside Press-Enterprise every day and the LA Times on Thusday through Sunday. I do not read them thoroughly but instead scan them for articles that might be of interest to me. Those I carefully read. So I don't understand how I could have so thoroughly missed reading about Barak Obama's younger brother. I think I knew there was one, but if you'd asked me anything about him I wouldn't have had any kind of answer.

Until yesterday ... when the LA Times carried a large article and photo of him and mentioned an autobiographical book he has recently published. The fellow's name is Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo. He and our President had the same father but different mothers. Mark's mother, Ruth, was the daughter of Jewish Lithuanian immigrants and her marriage to Barak senior was not a good one. Mark subsequently took the last name of a stepfather.

What I found so interesting is that this fellow earned a degree in physics from Brown Univerity and Stanford, as well as an MBA from Emory University. He is a classical and jazz pianist and volunteers as a piano teacher in an orphanage. He recently married a Chinese woman and currently lives in China doing business consulting. He also is a partner in a small chain of restaurants.

He did not know our President when they were children but he has met him a few times since. He also attended Obama's inauguration. Although there is a resemblance between the two, it is more in their slim build and loping gait.

So now I guess I know pretty much what everyone else already knew. Mark seems to be doing quite well and does not need to get his 15 minutes of fame by hanging around his famous brother, which is refreshing in light of some of the other presidential siblings.

I just never know what I'm going to come upon in the newspaper. Here's hoping they stay around in print form for a long time.

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