Just found this one on Facebook. The people making the claim have 11k page likes (26th November 2012).

Barack Obama's Aunt

She lived in a homeless shelter for 2 years.
Lived in Government housing for 10 years.
As an illegal alien.
Her nephew is a multimillionaire.
He claimed $87,000 in charitable donations.
But never gave her a dime.
His name is Barack Obama.

  • Removed off topic comments - take political opinions to the Skeptics Chat please :-)
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 28, 2012 at 21:22
  • 1
    If he had given her money I'm sure the claim would have been "Scandal! Obama supports illegal immigrant relative!" Oct 27, 2020 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


That's largely right. Her name is Zeituni Onyango.

  1. She lived in a homeless shelter for 2 years. source

    Zeituni Onyango, blamed “the system’’ for her controversial living arrangement in Boston public housing as an illegal immigrant

  2. Lived in government housing for 10 years.

    This source covers 2004-2010 source

    Onyango moved to the United States in 2000. Her first asylum request was rejected, and she was ordered deported in 2004. But she did not leave the country and continued to live in public housing in Boston.

  3. As an illegal alien. source

    Onyango's status as an illegal immigrant was revealed just days before Obama was elected in November 2008.

  4. Her 'nephew' is a multimillionare.

    Yes, he's a multimillionaire. source

    In 2009, the president’s taxable income was about $5.5 million

    However, to be precise, he is her half-nephew. source

    Kenya native Zeituni Onyango, 57, is the half-sister of Obama's late father

  5. He has claimed $87,000 in charitable contributions.

    The year isn't specified. In recent years, the number is much higher. source

    In 2010, for instance, [...] he gave $245,075 in gifts to charity. [...]

    In 2009, [... he] listed $329,100 in charitable contributions on his tax return and also directed the Nobel Prize Committee to give his $1.4 million prize directly to 10 charities


    2005: $77,315 to charity out of income of $1.66 million (4.6 percent)

    2004: $2,500 out of $207,647 (1.2 percent)

    2003: $3,400 out of $238,327 (1.4 percent)

    2002: $1,050 out of $259,394 (0.4 percent)

  6. But never gave her a dime. source

    According to this interview of her, no.

    "Nor, has [Obama] stepped in financially to get her off of public assistance."

  7. His name is Barack Obama. (this is kind of given and undisputed.)

  • 7
    On point 3, "As an illegal alien", if an immigration court granted her asylum in 2010, that may suggest she was not previously an illegal alien even if an earlier court thought she was. If the details of the decision have not been published, we may never know.
    – Henry
    Feb 15, 2014 at 22:20

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