One day before the election, Barack Obama's grandmother -- who he cites as the person who most shaped his life -- has passed away at the age of 86.

Obama announced the news from the campaign trail in Charlotte, N.C. The joint statement with his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng said Dunham died peacefully late Sunday night after a battle with cancer.

They said: "She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances."

The McCains respond:

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to them as they remember and celebrate the life of someone who had such a profound impact in their lives," the statement by John and Cindy McCain said.

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