A new biography of former President Barack Obama set to be released May 9 gives details on his past relationships before he met his wife, Michelle.
The biography by author David Garrow, titled Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, gives many details about his relationship with Genevieve Cook, an Australian-born woman that Obama met after attending Columbia College.
When Obama wrote Dreams From My Father, he wrote about a woman who he shared “the deepest romantic relationship of his young life.” That woman is presumed to be a depiction of Cook.
Here’s what you need to know about Cook and Obama’s relationship:
1. Obama & Cook Reportedly Met On New Year’s Eve In 1983
At the time when the couple met, Obama, who had recently graduated from Columbia, was working for a firm that prepared financial reports, The Daily Mail reported.
The biography tells how Obama met Cook at a New Year’s Eve party in 1983. They apparently spoke at the party for some time before he handed her his phone number on a sheet of paper.
An excerpt from the biography shows that cook was into Obama from the start.
“I remember being very engaged and just talking nonstop,” she said about the first time she met Obama.
Two weeks later, Obama — known back then as Barry — prepared dinner for Cook at his apartment in Manhattan and the relationship continued to blossom from then on.
Cook was 25-years old when she met Obama, who was 22. She was born in Australia and was living with her mother — Helen Ibbitson — and stepfather — Philip Jessup — in their apartment on Park Avenue.
2. They Reportedly Had Sex On the 1st Date & She Wrote a Poem For Him
After Obama cooked her the meal at his apartment on their “first date,” the couple didn’t waste much time getting intimate, Garrow wrote. The two had conversation for most of the evening with Cook spending the night after the dinner.
Obama lived with two roommates at his apartment on West 114th Street. In Garrow’s book, he writes that Cook and Obama “went and talked in his bedroom.” She revealed that she “spent the night” on the first date and then did so again a few days later.
Garrow wrote that Cook composed a poem for Obama, which she left on a piece of paper. It read: “B. That’s for you. F’s for all the f—ing that we do.”
Cook provided even more intimate details in Garrow’s biography of Obama. She wrote that “sexually he really wasn’t very imaginative but he was comfortable. He was no kind of shrinking ‘can’t handle it. This is invasive’ or ‘I’m timid’ in any way; he was quite earthy.”
3. Cook Revealed That the Couple Used Cocaine When Dating
Obama has previously revealed that he had used cocaine when he was a teenager, but not in his older years.
The new biography alleges that Obama and Cook used drugs together when they were in their 20s. Cook said that the former president was still a cocaine user when they dated. She said that Obama and his friends from Occidental College in Los Angeles were doing “lots of cocaine” for some time. However, Cook said that Obama used the drug “far less” than his friends.
Garrow’s book also says that Obama and Cook would smoke marijuana, “but only at parties.”
4. Cook Wrote In Her Diary That Obama ‘Felt Like an Imposter’
In 2012, Cook revealed some of her diaries from when he was younger in a book titled Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss. Maraniss wrote about how Cook was “driven wild” by Obama when the couple dated.
In one diary entry, she wrote about how Obama “loved to lounge around bare chested” while completing a crossword puzzle in the newspaper.
Another diary entry, which was one of the more controversial that she disclosed, talked about how Cook felt like Obama was “an impostor because he was so white.”
Another diary entry from February 9, 1984 published in Vanity Fair talks about how she was madly in love with him at the time.
Today, for the first time, Barack sat on the edge of the bed – dressed – blue jeans and luscious ladies on his chest (a comfy T-shirt depicting buxom women) the end of the front section of the Sunday Times in his hand, looking out the window, and the quality of light reflected from his eyes, windows of the soul, heart, and mind, was so clear, so unmasked, his eyes narrower than he usually holds them looking out the window, usually too aware of me.
The relationship lasted only a year and a half, though. They broke up in June 1985.
5. She Is the Daughter of an Australian Diplomat
According to The Australian, Cook’s father was a “prominent Australian diplomat.”
Her father, Michael, held a job in the government for many years and worked as the head of the Office of National Assessments in Canberra, Australia. Michael was then appointed by the Hawke Government to be the country’s ambassador to the United States.
Genevieve was born in 1958 and she was working as an assistant elementary school teacher in New York when she met Obama. Before that, she worked for a publishing company in Manhattan. Traveling with her father for many years, she lived in Indonesia around the same time Obama did, coincidentally.
The article in The Australian talked about how Genevieve’s parents divorced when she was 10-years old.