Obama's great-uncle Charles Payne dies at age 89

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CHICAGO (AP) -- President Obama's great-uncle, World War II veteran Charles T. Payne, has died.

Payne's wife of 50 years, Melanie Payne, says her husband died Aug. 1 in Chicago of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 89.

Payne helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp during the war, and he later became a pioneer in library science at the University of Chicago.

He briefly became part of the news during the 2008 presidential campaign when Obama mistakenly said his Uncle Charlie had helped liberate Auschwitz. Payne's infantry division liberated Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Payne told The Associated Press at the time that he was "truly astonished" by the attention paid to Obama's flub, and called his nephew "truly an astounding young man."

Payne was the brother of Obama's maternal grandmother.

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