Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."
The booklet, which was distributed to "business colleagues" in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel.
It also promotes Obama's anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White--which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.
Obama’s biography in the booklet is as follows (image and text below):
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.
While "almost nobody" wrote his or her own biography, the non-athletes in the booklet, whom "the agents dealt with on a daily basis," were "probably" approached to approve the text as presented.
The errant Obama biography in the Acton & Dystel booklet does not contradict the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate. Moreover, several contemporaneous accounts of Obama’s background describe Obama as having been born in Hawaii.
The biography does, however, fit a pattern in which Obama--or the people representing and supporting him--manipulate his public persona.
David Maraniss's forthcoming biography of Obama has reportedly confirmed, for example, that a girlfriend Obama described in Dreams from My Father was, in fact, an amalgam of several separate individuals.
In addition, Obama and his handlers have a history of redefining his identity when expedient. In March 2008, for example, he famously declared: "I can no more disown [Jeremiah Wright] than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother."
Several weeks later, Obama left Wright's church--and, according to Edward Klein's new biography, The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House, allegedly attempted to persuade Wright not to "do any more public speaking until after the November  election" (51).
Obama has been known frequently to fictionalize aspects of his own life. During his 2008 campaign, for instance, Obama claimed that his dying mother had fought with insurance companies over coverage for her cancer treatments.
That turned out to be untrue, but Obama has repeated the story--which even the Washington Post called "misleading"--in a campaign video for the 2012 election.
The Acton & Dystel biography could also reflect how Obama was seen by his associates, or transitions in his own identity. He is said, for instance, to have cultivated an "international" identity until well into his adulthood, according to Maraniss.
Regardless of the reason for Obama's odd biography, the Acton & Dystel booklet raises new questions as part of ongoing efforts to understand Barack Obama--who, despite four years in office remains a mystery to many Americans, thanks to the mainstream media.