Update: Literary Agent Responds to ‘Born in Kenya’ Obama Bio: ‘Nothing More Than a Fact Checking Error’

Breitbart.com on Thursday published part of what it says is a 1991 promotional booklet from Barack Obama’s then-literary agency, describing the future president as “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”

The 36-page Acton & Dystel booklet was reportedly distributed to “‘business colleagues’ in the publishing industry,” according to Breitbart, and includes a short biography of Obama and 89 other authors. Obama’s biography features a brief mention of his anticipated first book,  “Journeys in Black and White,” which he never completed:

Breitbart Publishes Old Obama Description as Born in Kenya| Breitbart

Image source: Breitbart News

Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.

Breitbart Publishes Old Obama Description as Born in Kenya| Breitbart

Image source: Breitbart News

Jay Acton, who no longer represents Obama, told Breitbart News “almost nobody” wrote their own biography for the booklet, though said the non-athletes whom “the agents deal[t] with on a daily basis” were “probably” approached to approve the text.

Acton’s former partner Jane Dystel still lists Obama as a literary client, but did not respond to Breitbart’s requests for comment.

The text editor of the booklet, Miriam Goderich, also did not return requests for comment, though booklet designer Richard Bellsey told Breitbart it “sounds like one of our jobs, like I did for [Acton & Dystel] 20 years ago or more.”

(Editor’s note: Goderich has since said the biographical line was “nothing more than a fact checking error.”)

In a “senior management” note, Breitbart.com stated it is “a site that has never advocated the narrative of ‘Birtherism.’ In fact, Andrew believed, as we do, that President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961.”

The booklet, the post stated, is evidence “not of the President’s foreign origin, but that Barack Obama’s public persona has perhaps been presented differently at different times.”

Read Breitbart News’ full report here.