Nikki Haley announces death of her father on Father’s Day

Haley had suspended her campaign for a day in January to visit her ailing father.

Former U.N. ambassador and GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley announced on social media Sunday that her father died on Father’s Day,

“This morning I had to say goodbye to the smartest, sweetest, kindest, most decent man I have ever known,” Haley posted on X. “He taught his kids the importance of faith, hard work, and grace.”

In her 2012 memoir “Can’t Is Not an Option,” Haley wrote about growing up in a small town in South Carolina, the daughter of proud Sikh parents, saying her father, Ajit Singh Randhawa, kept his long hair and turban despite people whispering and pointing. It was something she said caused a “quiet anger” in her as a child.

Haley said her parents’ marriage was arranged and that when her father came to Canada to work, he had $8 in his pocket. He was a biologist and earned a doctorate at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In 1969, he got a job teaching at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina.

Haley said her parents saw “the ugly residue of a less tolerant time,” and were turned away from renting a home. When she campaigned for governor, The Washington Post reported that her father would “hide in the corner” of her campaign events, because he didn’t want to hurt her chances.

Her parents were seated in the front row at her inauguration, Haley wrote in her book.

The social media post included a photo of Haley hugging her father at an event in her native South Carolina to launch her presidential bid in 2023. She suspended her campaign for a day to visit her ailing father in January.

Ajit Singh Randhawa had four children, including Haley, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Haley did not specify her father’s cause of death.

“He was an amazing husband of 64 years, a loving grandfather and great grandfather, and the best father to his four children. He was such a blessing to all of us,” Haley wrote on Sunday.

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