UN chief hugs 99-year-old woman he calls his ‘American Mom’

NOVATO, California (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon embraced the 99-year-old woman he calls his “American Mom” on a nostalgic visit to her home where as a high school student from war-ravaged South Korea he spent his first days in the United States in culture shock at the country’s riches.

Libba Patterson hugged the U.N. chief back on Thursday and later had tears in her eyes when she spoke about how 18-year-old “Ki-moon” became her fourth child and part of her family during his eight-day visit in 1962.

“To me, today, underneath all the glory and names and what have you that he’s achieved, he’s still Ki-moon, our son,” she said.

Ban said that month-long U.S. visit shaped his life and responded saying, “Yes, I’m still her kid and she’s still my American mom.”

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