The widow of the doctor whose signature is on President Obama's birth certificate was honored to learn of her husband's role in bringing the future president into the world and hoped the document would end debate over his citizenship.
"It is a great thrill and a great honor and I had no idea," Ivalee Sinclair, an Obama supporter, said Wednesday in a phone interview from her home in Honolulu, Hawaii.
"I was just overwhelmed with the news."
David Sinclair's name appears as the attending physician on the live birth certificate that the White House released Wednesday in response to doubts over his citizenship. The "birther debate" has waxed and waned since Obama's presidential campaign, returning with renewed vigor last week due in large part to the efforts of billionaire entrepreneur Donald Trump.
According to the document, Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in the Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, where David Sinclair spent most of his career delivering around 10,000 babies, his wife said.
Sinclair served in World War II as a fighter pilot before going to medical school and embarking on a decades-long career as a respected physician.
"I just know he loved what he was doing and he had a wonderful rapport with his patients," Ivalee Sinclair said. "When he passed away, many called to share funny stories that he'd shared with them, to tell me they'd named children after him or other such honors, so I know he was dearly loved by his patients."
Ivalee Sinclair said she hoped the birth certificate would put the matter to rest and echoed President Obama's remarks that the country had "better stuff to do."
"I think President Obama was correct when he said it was a distraction that takes away from the real issues and we have huge, huge real issues that our country is facing," she said. "We need people to work together not at one another’s throats."
She said she didn't think her husband knew of his connection to the president because he died in 2003, before Obama announced his candidacy. But if he did, he never mentioned it.
"Physicians honor the confidentiality of their patients so he never said anything to me about this, and at that time, we had no way of knowing that President Obama was going to be president," she said.