Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have been married for 28 years now, so when it came to Christmas, Michelle was able to pick the perfect gift for her husband. Taking to Instagram, Barack revealed his very special present from the mum-of-two and explained its poignant backstory.
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The former President, 59, shared a candid snapshot showing him sat on a leather sofa, wearing a T-shirt and a Santa hat, while looking at an image on an iPad.
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He explained: "For Christmas, Michelle surprised me with this drawing of the 12th hole at Augusta National by the terrific artist, @ValentinoDixon. It's an incredible piece, but the story behind it is even better.
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"Valentino grew up in Buffalo, New York, and developed a great skill and passion for drawing from a young age. Unfortunately, when he was 21, he was wrongfully convicted for a crime he didn’t commit and sentenced to a minimum of 38 ½ years in prison.
Barack Obama revealed details of his Christmas gift on Instagram
"For more than two decades behind bars, he maintained his innocence. Eventually, he renewed his passion for art, thanks to the advice of his uncle, who told him, 'If you reclaim your talent, you can reclaim your life.'
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"Despite never visiting a golf course, he went on to use photos from magazines to draw golf courses like the one in this photo. His art and his story gained national attention in 2012 through his family's tireless advocacy and a couple of profiles in golf publications.
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"Then, in 2018, three undergraduate students from Georgetown’s Innocence Project uncovered evidence that proved the innocence Valentino had maintained all along. And after 27 years, he was free.
"Today, Valentino travels extensively to share his story and promote the need for criminal justice reform. And thankfully, for me and for so many others, he continues to draw. I'm so proud to have one of his works to display."
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