Obama expresses condolences for woman honored in Election night speech

December 22, 2009


Ann Nixon Cooper, who voted for President Barack Obama last year when she was 106 years old and was made famous by Obama in his victory speech on election night, has died at the age of 107, and Obama remembered the Atlanta woman again on Tuesday in a statement of condolence.

“Over the course of her extraordinary 107 years, Ann saw both the brightest lights of our nation’s history and some of its darkest hours as well. It is especially meaningful for me that she lived to cast a vote on Election Day 2008, and it was a deep honor for me to mark her life in the speech I delivered that night,” he said in a statement.

“It was a life that captured the spirit of community and change and progress that is at the heart of the American experience; a life that inspired – and will continue to inspire – me in the years to come. During this time of sadness, Michelle and I offer our deepest condolences to all who loved Ann Nixon Cooper,” he said, referring to first lady Michelle Obama.

Cooper lived most recently in Atlanta, where she was an active volunteer, who helped found the Girls Club for African American Youth, worked as a tutor and registered voters.

“She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin,” Obama said in his Election night speech.

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U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is pictured live on a giant screen as he addresses supporters at his election night rally in Chicago on November 4, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Reed



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