In the new biography ‘Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama‘, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David Garrow discusses the close relationship Obama had with assistant professor Lawrence Goldyn, even going as far to say the 44th President considered an openly gay relationship with the teacher.
Writing about the former president’s two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, author David J. Garrow disclose
‘Goldyn made a huge impact on Barry Obama,’ Garrow says. ‘Almost a quarter century later, asked about his understanding of gay issues, Obama enthusiastically said, “my favorite professor my first year in college was one of the first openly gay people that I knew…He was a terrific guy.” with whom Obama developed a ‘friendship beyond the classroom.’
According to the biography, it was during the winter of 1980 when Obama took a political science course at Occidental College taught by Goldwyn. Goldwyn, an openly gay professor, was a 1973 graduate of Reed College in Oregon with a PhD from Stanford. Goldwyn retrained as a doctor and is now an HIV specialist in Mendocino, California.
A student at Occidental College said that to say that Goldwyn was out ‘would be an understatement’. ‘Obama wrote somewhat elusively to his first intimate girlfriend that he had thought about and considered gayness but ultimately decided that a same-sex relationship would be less challenging and demanding than developing one with the opposite sex,’ Garrow writes.
President Obama has spoken highly of Goldwyn in the past. In 2009, when asked who most profoundly influenced his ideas about gays and lesbians, Obama first named his mother, and then said the second was Lawrence Goldyn.
‘He was a wonderful guy,’ Obama said. ‘He was the first openly gay professor that I had ever come in contact with, or openly gay person of authority that I had come in contact with.
‘And he was just a terrific guy. He wasn’t proselytizing all the time, but just his comfort in his own skin and the friendship we developed helped to educate me on a number of these issues.’Garrow, an author who won a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography about Martin Luther King Jr., is a contributor to The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Furthermore, the 1,078-page biography, which the most comprehensive work ever on Obama, also details Obama’s various relationships with college girlfriends. The biography alleges that slept with his girlfriend Genevieve Cook after the first date and that they did both marijuana and cocaine during the course of their relationship. It is also alleged that Obama asked another woman to marry him, as well as continued a relationship with her while dating Michelle, his future wife.
‘Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama’ is set to be released on May 9.