Michelle Robinson, born January 17, 1964 raised on Chicago’s South Side, was the daughter of Marian, a homemaker, and Frasier Robinson, a city worker. She excelled academically, earning a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and African American studies from Princeton University (1985) and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School (1988).
Returning to Chicago, Michelle began her career as a junior associate at Sidley & Austin (now Sidley Austin LLP), specializing in intellectual property law. It was there that she met her future husband, Barack Obama, in 1989. Seeking a path in public service, she joined Mayor Richard M. Daley’s office as an assistant in 1991. The following year, she and Barack, then a community organizer, married.

Michelle continued her public service journey, serving as assistant commissioner for the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (1992-1993) and founding the Chicago branch of Public Allies, a leadership-training program for young adults, in 1993. She led the branch as executive director until 1996.
Michelle’s career advanced alongside her husband’s political rise. When Barack was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, Michelle became the associate dean of student services at the University of Chicago, driving community outreach initiatives. She progressed to executive director of community and external affairs in 2002, and by 2005, she was vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center, expanding her impact.

Michelle Obama played a crucial role in her husband’s 2008 presidential campaign, taking leave from her University of Chicago position to focus on campaigning and caring for their young daughters. As a skilled speaker, she traveled extensively, humanizing Barack by sharing his flaws and imperfections, and impressing audiences with her authenticity and persuasiveness.
Nicknamed “the closer” by campaign aides, Michelle’s efforts helped secure Barack’s nomination and eventual election as the 44th President of the United States, defeating John McCain on November 4, 2008. This historic victory made her the first black First Lady, and she continued to support her husband throughout his two terms in office, ending in 2017.

Michelle Obama’s tenure as First Lady was marked by her dedication to creating positive change. She championed the causes of military families and childhood obesity prevention, taking innovative steps like planting a White House vegetable garden in 2009 to promote healthy eating. Her book, American Grown (2012), shared the story of this initiative and its impact. Beyond her advocacy work, Michelle’s impeccable fashion sense made her a style icon, cementing her enduring influence on American culture. With her warmth, intelligence, and generosity of spirit, she inspired countless individuals, leaving a lasting legacy as a passionate and compassionate First Lady.

After leaving the White House in 2017, Michelle Obama maintained a low public profile until the release of her autobiography, Becoming, in 2018. The book became a massive success, topping the charts as one of the best-selling memoirs in publishing history. While largely apolitical, the book drew attention for her criticism of Donald Trump’s “birther” conspiracy, which she claimed put her family in danger. The book tour was adapted into a Netflix documentary, Becoming (2020), as part of the Obama’s production deal with the streaming service. Michelle also hosted The Michelle Obama Podcast on Spotify in 2020. Her second book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times (2022), offered personal insights into navigating difficult times. A two-time Grammy winner, Michelle took home Best Spoken Word Album for Becoming in 2020 and Best Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording for The Light We Carry in 2024


In 2014, the Obama Foundation was established by Barack and Michelle Obama to inspire and empower individuals to create positive change. The foundation is responsible for developing the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side. Additionally, it manages various programs, including the Girls Opportunity Alliance, which Michelle actively supports. This initiative focuses on promoting girls’ education globally, aligning with the foundation’s mission to connect and empower people to make a meaningful impact.

Michelle and Barack Obama tied the knot on October 3, 1992, and have since built a loving family. They are proud parents to two beautiful daughters, Malia Ann Obama and Natasha Marian Obama.

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