obama_and_grandmother.jpgBarack Obama's 86-year-old grandmother has died, according to CNN.

Madelyn Payne Dunham, who helped to raise Obama along with his grandfather, lost her battle with cancer, the news network reported on Monday afternoon.

Newcasters lamented the fact that Dunham, who urged Obama to use education as a tool to advance himself, passed away on the eve of his potential election as president of the United States.

Obama took time off from his campaign last month to visit her on her death bed in Hawaii.

In a campaign ad this year, Obama described Dunham as the daughter of a Midwest oil company clerk who “taught me values straight from the Kansas heartland'' _ things like “accountability and self-reliance. Love of country. Working hard without making excuses. Treating your neighbor as you'd like to be treated.''

Obama recognized Dunham when he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in Denver.

“She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me,'' he said.

Obama had previously visited Hawaii in August for a week's vacation after he clinched the nomination.

Pictured above is Barack Obama, right, with his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, in Hawaii in 1979 during his high school graduation.