Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo

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Lolo Soetoro also known as Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo[1][2] or Mangundikardjo,[3] (new spelling: Lolo Sutoro) (pronounced /ˈlɒlɒ suːˈtɒrɒː/) (born c. 1935 in Bandung[4], died 1987 in Jakarta) was the stepfather of Barack Obama. He was a native of Indonesia.[5]

Soetoro was the ninth out of ten children of Martodihardjo who hailed from Yogyakarta.[4] During the Indonesian National Revolution (c. 1946) when Indonesia won independence from the Dutch, Soetoro's father and eldest brother were killed, after which the Dutch army burned down the family's home. Soetoro fled with his mother into the countryside to survive.[6]

He obtained his bachelor's degree in Geography from Gajah Mada University, Yogyakarta.[4] He later obtained a scholarship from his workplace to study for a master's degree at the University of Hawaii, where he met Barack Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, also a student.[7] Around 1966 Soetoro and Dunham married and Soetoro returned to Indonesia when it called home its citizens who were studying abroad. About a year later, [6] Dunham and six-year-old Barack followed Soetoro back to Indonesia, where the family took up residence in Menteng Dalam, Jakarta.[8][9] In 1970 Soetoro and Dunham had a daughter, Maya.[10]

After returning to Indonesia, Soetoro first worked for the army as a geologist and then took a job as a government relations consultant with Mobil Oil.[9][11][12] Obama describes Soetoro as well-mannered, even-tempered, and easy with people and writes about the struggles he perceived Soetoro had to deal with after he returned to Indonesia from Hawaii. [13]

During their years together in Indonesia, Ann Dunham became increasingly interested in the country's culture, while Soetoro became more Western in his outlook.[7] She left Soetoro in 1972, returning to Hawaii and reuniting with her son, who had returned from Indonesia in 1971 to attend school. Soetoro and Dunham saw each other periodically in the 1970s but did not live together again.[14] They were divorced in 1980.[7]

After the divorce, Soetoro married Erna Kustina. She bore him two children, Yusuf Aji Soetoro (b. 1981) and Rahayu Nurmaida Soetoro (b. 1984).[15]

Soetoro was much more of a free spirit than a devout Muslim, according to former friends and neighbors.[16] Soetoro died of a liver ailment in 1987 at age 52,[17][18] and was buried in Tanah Kusir Cemetery, South Jakarta.



  1. Asydhad, Arifin (2007-07-06). Barack Obama impression: Scouts like, Frequently For Chocolate (English). detikNews. Retrieved on 2008-11-11. “Barry's mother, Ann Dunham. originally from the United States, and his step-father, Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo the army colonel who also held office at Pertamina.” Original Indonesian version here.
  3. Oraw, Nirina (2007-01-25). Barry Soetoro calon Presiden AS (Indonesian). Kabar Indonesia: Dari kita untuk kita. Retrieved on 2008-06-21. “Setelah Aan Dunham berpisah dengan Barack Husein Obama, Aan Dunham untuk yang kedua kalinya menikah dengan seorang mahasiswa bernama Lolo Soetoro Mangundikardjo dari Indonesia yang sedang menyelesaikan study untuk mengambil gelar Doktor dibidang geologi. (English translation: "After her separation with Barack Husein Obama, Ann Dunham had her second marriage with an Indonesian postgraduate student named Lolo Soetoro Mangundikardjo from Indonesia who was taking his doctorate in Geology.")[1]
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Habib, Ridlwan. "Kalau ke Jogja, Barry Bisa Habiskan Seekor Ayam Bacem/If travelling to Yogyakarta, Barry can eat one whole chicken". Jawa Pos Daily (Printed). 5 November 2008 Edition.
  5. Nathalia, Telly (2008-06-05). "Indonesians reflect with pride on Obama nomination". Reuters. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Obama, Dreams from my Father, 2004, p. 42.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ripley, Amanda (2008-04-09). "The Story of Barack Obama's Mother". Time: pp. 4.,8599,1729524-4,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  8. Obama’s Jakarta Trail,
  9. 9.0 9.1 Secrets of Obama Family Unlocked, New America Media.
  10. Lefkowitz, Melanie (November 8, 2008). "Timeline: Obama through the years". Newsday.
  11. Obama, Dreams from my Father, 2004, p. 43.
  12. Watson, Paul (2007-03-15). "As a child, Obama crossed a cultural divide in Indonesia". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  13. Obama, Dreams from my Father, 2004, pp. 30-31.
  14. Scott, Janny (2008-03-14). "A Free-Spirited Wanderer Who Set Obama’s Path". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  15. Habib, Ridlwan. "Keluarga Besar Lolo Soetoro, Kerabat Dekat Calon Presiden Amerika/Lolo Soetoro's Extended Family, Close Relatives to American Presidential Nominee". Jawa Pos Daily. 5 November 2008 Edition.
  16. Barker, Kim (2007-03-25). "History of schooling distorted". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2008-11-09.,0,6697655.story. 
  18. Fornek, Scott (2007-09-09). "Lolo Soetoro". Chicago Sun-Times.,BSX-News-wotreegg09.stng. 


See Also

Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro

External link

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