Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is an American attorney and author who served as first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She was the first African-American woman to serve in this position. She is married to former President Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. She was the first African American first lady.
Michelle Obama Biography
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama
January 17, 1964
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Fraser Robinson III (father)
Marian Shields (mother)
Michelle Obama was born on the 17th of January, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Michelle Robinson was born and raised in Chicago’s South Side. She is the daughter of Marian Robinson, a housewife who also works as a secretary at Spiegel’s, and Frasier Robinson, a water treatment plant employee. Prior to enrolling at Harvard Law School, she completed her undergraduate studies in sociology and African American studies at Princeton University in New Jersey (1985).
After moving back to Chicago, Michelle Obama accepted a position as a junior associate at the intellectual property law firm Sidley & Austin (now Sidley Austin LLP). She met Barack Obama, who had been hired as a summer associate when she was still working there in 1989. Seeking a more public-service-oriented career path, in 1991 she became an assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. The following year she and Barack, then a community organizer, were married. From 1992 to 1993 Michelle was the assistant commissioner for the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, and in 1993 she founded the Chicago branch of Public Allies, a leadership-training program for young adults; she served as the branch’s executive director until 1996.
Dean of Student Service at the University of Chicago
Michelle Obama worked as the University of Chicago’s Associate Dean of Student Services in 1996, during which time she created the institution’s Community Service Center. She started working for the University of Chicago Hospitals in 2002, initially as the executive director of community affairs and then, starting in May 2005, as vice president for community and external affairs.
During the 2008 primary campaign, she retained her job at the University of Chicago Hospitals, but she reduced her hours to part-time in order to spend more time with her girls and support her husband’s campaign. She then requested a leave of absence from her position.
Michelle Obama worked as a salaried board member for TreeHouse Foods, Inc. NYSE: THS, a significant supplier to Wal-Mart, from shortly after her husband was elected to the Senate until she broke ties shortly after he declared his presidential bid. On May 14, 2007, he criticized the labor practices of Wal-Mart at an AFL-CIO forum in Trenton, New Jersey. She was also a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ board of directors.
Political Campaign and First Lady of the United States (2009–2017)
Michelle had a significant role in her husband’s campaign once he declared his bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. She took a leave of absence from her job at the University of Chicago so that she could focus more on the campaign while still finding time to look after her and Barack’s two young girls. Speaking persuasively, Michelle made numerous speeches in support of her husband throughout the protracted Democratic primary contest, and in June 2008, Barack was declared the party’s presumptive nominee.
She was even dubbed “the closer” by campaign staffers due to her ability to win over undecided voters at rallies. Sen. John McCain of Arizona lost to Barack on November 4, 2008, making him the 44th president of the United States. He took office on January 20, 2009, and was later reelected in 2012.
As first lady, Michelle was involved in various causes, notably supporting military families and ending childhood obesity. In an effort to promote healthy eating, she planted a vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House in 2009. She related her experiences with the project in the book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America (2012). In addition to her work on such issues, Michelle also garnered attention for her fashion sense.
During the 2016 presidential race, Michelle supported the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, and her speech during the party’s national convention drew widespread praise; noting the coarse tenor of the race, Michelle stated that “when they go low, we go high.” Clinton ultimately lost to Republican Donald Trump, who had repeatedly and falsely suggested that Barack was not a U.S.-born citizen.
Life After Presidency
After her husband’s term was up in 2017, Michelle maintained a low profile in the media. But in 2018, she published the book Becoming, which attracted a lot of attention and went on to become one of the best-selling autobiographies in publishing history.
The documentary Becoming (2020), which was broadcast on Netflix, was based on a book tour; Michelle and Barack had struck a production agreement with the media-streaming service in 2018. In 2020, she also served as the host of The Michelle Obama Podcast, a Spotify-hosted online music service. Two years later, Michelle released The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, in which she provided advice on how to deal with challenging circumstances by drawing on instances from her own life.
- Obama, Michelle (2012). American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America. New York: Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-95602-6. OCLC 790271044.
- Obama, Michelle (2018). Becoming. New York: Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-5247-6313-8. OCLC 1030413521.
- Obama, Michelle (2022). The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times. New York: Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 9780593237465. OCLC 1336957651.
According to different online sources, Michelle Obama has an estimated net worth of $60 million.
Social Media Handles
As a former First Lady to the U.S. President, Michelle Obama has amassed quite a number of followers on her social media handles. On Instagram, she has over 52.2 million followers. While on Twitter also, she has a verified account with over 22.2 million followers. You can follow her on social media through the following handles.
- Instagram: @michelleobama
- Twitter: @MichelleObama