The “New York girlfriend” mentioned by President Barack Obama in his book “Dreams from My Father” is actually several women melded into one, according to an upcoming biography of the president by David Maraniss.
Vanity Fair adapted parts of the biography “Barack Obama: The Story” for a profile of the young Obama published today, based partially on interviews with two of his former girlfriends and their journal entries and letters from the time.
One of the women, Genevieve Cook (pictured above), was his most serious girlfriend while living in New York. Most of the “New York girlfriend” referenced in his book is based on Cook, but Cook told Maraniss some of the anecdotes were things she never experienced. The president confirmed to Maraniss in an interview that the girlfriend discussed in the book is an amalgamation of a few women, although the description of her appearance is similar to Cook’s.
In the memoir, Obama acknowledges that autobiographical work is at times imprecise. “Although much of this book is based on contemporaneous journals or the oral histories of my family, the dialogue is necessarily an approximation of what was actually said or relayed to me,” he writes. “For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people I’ve known.”
Cook told Maraniss that one anecdote loosely tied to her in “Dreams from My Father” may have instead been an experience with a later Obama girlfriend, meant to show some of the racial issues he was considering at the time. Obama wrote in his memoirs that he fought with his “New York girlfriend,” described as white, after seeing a play by a black playwright. He writes that she “started talking about why black people were so angry all the time” and they argued in front of the theater. She said she never saw the play.
In another excerpt from the biography, Cook says she pictured Obama’s “Ideal” woman as a “strong black lady””
Obama told Cook that he sought an “ideal woman.” Cook wrote in her journal that she thought he would be drawn to “a woman, very strong, very upright, a fighter, a laugher, well-experienced — a black woman I keep seeing her as.” Later, after they have broken up, she questions in her journal whether his emotional distance had to do with his age or his upbringing.
Obama would go on to meet his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, a few years later.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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