BOSTON – President Barack Obama's father was forced to leave Harvard University before completing his Ph.D. in economics because the school was concerned about his personal life and finances, according to newly public immigration records.
Harvard had asked the Immigration and Naturalization Service to delay a request by Barack Hussein Obama Sr. to extend his stay in the U.S., "until they decided what action they could take in order to get rid of him," immigration official M.F. McKeon wrote in a June 1964 memo.
Harvard administrators, the memo stated, "were having difficulty with his financial arrangements and couldn't seem to figure out how many wives he had."
An earlier INS memo from McKeon said that while the elder Obama had passed his exams and was entitled on academic grounds to stay and complete his thesis, the school was going to try and "cook something up to ease him out."
"They are planning on telling him that they will not give him any money, and that he had better return to Kenya and prepare his thesis at home," the memo stated.
In May 1964, David D. Henry, director of Harvard's international office, wrote to Obama to say that, while he had completed his formal course work, the economics department and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences didn't have the money to support him.
"We have, therefore, come to the conclusion that you should terminate your stay in the United States and return to Kenya to carry on your research and the writing of your thesis," Henry's letter stated.
Obama's request for an extended stay was denied by the INS. He left Harvard and — divorced from the president's mother — returned to his native Kenya in July 1964. He did not complete his Ph.D.