Frontline Interviews Obama Friend from Punahou

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Kristin Caldwell (Courtesy of Frontline)

Kristin Caldwell attended Punahou School with President Barack Obama, who she and other students knew as “Barry” Obama.

Caldwell went to Punahou beginning in her kindergarten year beginning in 1966 and continued on through high school, graduating in 1979 with Obama.


She said Punahou is “an amazing school … well known academically and athletically.”

Since both she and Obama played tennis, they spent time together at the school’s tennis courts.

Her interview, which is documented by Frontline, includes her memories of Obama during his youth.

She said: “So yeah, I can picture him as this slightly — ‘chubby’ is too strong, but rounded, short little guy, Barry Obama. And he told us that his father was an Indonesian king and that he was a prince, and after he finished school he was going to go back, and he would be a ruler in Indonesia. And I absolutely believed him.

“I understand that he told his fifth-grade class that he was Kenyan royalty, but I never heard that story until years later. My sister and I remember very clearly that he was an Indonesian prince and that he would be going back there. So there was some reference to where he had come from, and the understanding was his family was there.”

See the edited transcript of an interview conducted on June 27, 2012 on Frontline.





  1. Kids say the 'Darnest Things'…Art Linkletter….I can see why Obama invented these stories…He was the 'odd man out'…I think he did amazingly well at Punahou…wonder how Kirstin Caldwell would have fared at an ALL BLACK school…tough!!

  2. JO
    Punahou like all of Hawaii is a big mix of races you bigot. Mostly Asian and any other local races like Samoan and Hawaiian. It is a place people like you can not understand in your Vanilla world

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