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Nikki Haley Bids Goodbye to ‘Smartest, Sweetest, Kindest’ Dad on Father’s Day

Nikki Haley Bids Goodbye to ‘Smartest, Sweetest, Kindest’ Dad on Father’s Day

  • While she didn’t specify the age or the cause of Ajit Singh Randhawa's death, she had briefly paused her campaign in January to visit him in the hospital after he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Nikki Haley’s father Ajit Singh Randhawa has died. The former governor of South Carolina and the former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., announced the death on June 16, 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 social media, along with a photo of her hugging her father. “My heart is heavy knowing he is gone,” she wrote. She credited him for teaching  his kids “the importance of faith, hard work, and grace.” She described him as “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.” She wished her father a happy Father’s Day and said the family “will miss you dearly.”

She did not specify his age or his cause of death. But, several media outlets reported Haley pausing her campaign in January to visit her father in the hospital after he had been diagnosed with cancer.

According to a February 2023 Politico fact sheet about Haley, Randhawa, who was originally from Punjab, had a master’s degree in biology before moving to Canada to get a Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia. In 1969, he landed in small, segregated Bamberg, South Carolina to teach at Voorhees College, a nearby HBCU. Her mother, Raj Kaur Randhawa, “also from the Punjab region, grew up in a wealthy family in a big house in the shadow of the Golden Temple.” She earned a law degree, h”ighly unusual for a woman in that place and time, Politico noted. She began in South Carolina by teaching sixth-grade social studies in the local public schools before starting a gift shop “she turned into a million-dollar fashion boutique.” He wore a turban. She wore a sari and a bindi. ‘My parents,” Nikki Haley has said, “were more American than anyone I knew.”

Randhawa was with Haley when she announced her GOP presidential bid last year, the South Carolina Post and Courier said. He “sat behind” his daughter “in his signature turban during her first confirmation hearing to become the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,” the South Carolina Post and Courier said.

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While announcing her presidential bid, Haley described herself as “a proud daughter of Indian immigrants,” Haley, who was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, calls herself “not Black, not White, but different.” She talked about how her mother always told her that her job is “not to focus on the differences, but on the similarities.” Her parents told her and her siblings every day how blessed they were to live in America, she said in the video. 

(Top photo: Nikki Haley Facebook)

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