OK, I’ve had my sensational headline fun. This article is about Barack Obama, Sr., the President’s father.
I don’t know why birthers make such a big deal about the President’s social-security number; it’s as if they think that not having a valid number means someone is a foreigner. The fact is that you don’t have to be a citizen to have a social-security number, evidenced by the fact that Barack Obama, Sr., British subject, applied for and received a number (575-44-4342) in 1960. Prior to 1973, social-security cards were issued by local offices around the country and the “575” prefix refers to the offices in Hawaii1.
What’s missing is a Social Security Death Index entry for Barack Obama, Sr. The fact that this is missing may have been reported before, but I just stumbled on it today. It’s not surprising because Barack Obama, Sr., was not a US citizen, nor did he die in the United States. Under those circumstances I think it reasonable that no official notice of his death was forwarded to the Social Security Administration. This is a caution: not every deceased social-security number holder is in the SSDI.
1See Social Security Numbers Structure for a list of area prefixes.
It’s interesting to note, given all the brouhaha about President Obama having a social-security number normally issued to Connecticut applicants, that the Social Security Administration recently abolished the area prefix scheme entirely, instituting in its place a completely random number assignment starting June 25, 2011. Lest anyone think this was an Obama administration attempt to hide something, the proposal to randomize was issued on July 3, 2007. There are a number of technical reasons why randomization is a good thing.