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Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama 2013 official portrait.jpg
Former First Lady of the United States
In office
January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Laura Bush
Succeeded by Melania Trump
Personal details
Born
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson

January 17, 1964 (1964-01-17) (age 57)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Barack Obama (m. 1992)
Children Malia Ann Obama and Sasha Obama
Residence Washington, D.C.
Kenwood, Chicago, Illinois
Alma mater
Profession Lawyer

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is a former First Lady of the United States and the wife of the 44th president of the U.S., Barack Obama. She is also a lawyer and an author. She is the first African American First Lady of the United States. Like many other First Ladies, Mrs. Obama has worked as a spokesperson for a cause. The cause she supports is better nutrition and exercise for children. She has done work with the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon to support this cause.

Early Life

Defense.gov photo essay 091110-N-0696M-261
Obama (right) with Barack Obama (left)

Obama was born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson at Provident Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois on January 17, 1964.

Robinson's childhood home was on the upper floor of 7436 South Euclid Avenue in Chicago's South Shore community area, which her parents rented from her great-aunt, who had the first floor. She was raised in what she describes as a "conventional" home, with "the mother at home, the father works, you have dinner around the table". Her elementary school was down the street. She and her family enjoyed playing games such as Monopoly, reading, and frequently saw extended family on both sides. She played piano, learning from her great-aunt, who was a piano teacher. The Robinsons attended services at nearby South Shore United Methodist Church. They used to vacation in a rustic cabin in White Cloud, Michigan. She and her 21-month-older brother, Craig, skipped the second grade.

Her father suffered from multiple sclerosis, which had a profound emotional effect on her as she was growing up. She was determined to stay out of trouble and be a good student, which was what her father wanted for her. By sixth grade, Michelle joined a gifted class at Bryn Mawr Elementary School (later renamed Bouchet Academy). She attended Whitney Young High School, Chicago's first magnet high school, established as a selective enrollment school, where she was a classmate of Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita. The round-trip commute from the Robinsons' South Side home to the Near West Side, where the school was located, took three hours.

Michelle recalled being fearful of how others would perceive her, but disregarded any negativity around her and used it "to fuel me, to keep me going". She recalled facing gender discrimination growing up, saying, for example, that rather than asking her for her opinion on a given subject, people commonly tended to ask what her older brother thought. She was on the honor roll for four years, took advanced placement classes, was a member of the National Honor Society, and served as student council treasurer. She graduated in 1981 as the salutatorian of her class.

Career

Michele Obama became a lawyer after graduating from law school. While working at the law firm Sidley Austin, she met her future husband.

In 1991, she left the company to work in the mayor's office as an Assistant to the Mayor, then she pursued various jobs outside the city including executive director, associate dean and executive vice president.

After her husband’s inauguration, she focused on lifestyle and fitness, and she launched the Let’s Move campaign to eliminate childhood obesity. Her approval rating was 71% in March of 2010.

Meeting Barack Obama

Defense.gov News Photo 101115-A-0193C-016 - President Barack Obama right Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and First Lady Michelle Obama enter the East Room of the White House to begin the Medal
Obama with her husband and Salvatore Giunta

She met Barack Obama when they were among the few African Americans at their law firm, Sidley Austin LLP. She was assigned to mentor him while he was a summer associate. Their relationship started with a business lunch and then a community organization meeting where he first impressed her.She and Barack Obama were married on October 3, 1992, and they have two children, Malia (born July 4, 1998) and Sasha (born June 10, 2001).

For a long time, she lived in Chicago with her family. Then, her husband became a junior Senator for the State of Illinois. After that, he ran for president of the USA and won. Michelle became the First Lady of the United States and lived in the White House with her husband and two children. Her husband was elected on November 6, 2012, to a second term as president, so she served as First Lady until January 20, 2017.

On September 17, 2014, Obama visited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Kids there asked her questions. She said when she was asked who in her family that she liked to prank the most that her husband was the person, also saying they love to scare each other. Their daughters also try to scare them. She also said the Truman Balcony is her favorite part of the White House. When asked about what she liked most about being First Lady of the United States, she answered that she enjoyed meeting the Pope and also spoke of being around Beyoncé and her fans at one of her concerts. She showed how excited she was by saying "Oh, my stars!"

Family

Obama and family of Christina Taylor Green 2011
Obama with family of Christina Taylor in 2011.

Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, is the head coach of the Oregon State University men's basketball team. Her father, Fraser Robinson, was a pump operator for the Chicago Water Department. Her mother Marion Robinson stayed home to raise her and her brother Craig. Her children are Sasha and Malia Ann Obama.

Books

These books were written or ghostwritten and published by Michelle Obama while she was First Lady and afterwards:

  • American Grown
  • Becoming

Michelle Obama quotes

Barack Obama family portrait 2011
Official portrait by Pete Souza of the Obama family in the Oval Office, December 11, 2011.
  • "I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them."
  • "When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high."
  • "Strong men, men who are truly role models, don't need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful."
  • "Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude."
  • "Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own"

Interesting facts about Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama at National Craft Museum, Delhi, 2010
Obama with children in Delhi, November 8, 2010
  • She was the first African American first lady of the United States of America.
  • Her brother Craig is only 21 months older than her so people thought they were twins when they were growing up.
  • Michelle Obama served as a role model for women.
  • She worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating.
  • Michelle Obama began the Let's Move! campaign to help stop the United State’s childhood obesity epidemic.
  • She supported American designers and was considered a fashion icon.
  • Michelle skipped second grade.
  • Michelle Obama isn't a fan of the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, because she believes you continue to grow, change, learn and do different things even as an adult.



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