Biography of Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama (Michelle LaVaughn Robinson) born on January 17, 1964, is an American lawyer, author, and the former first lady of the United States(wife of former U.S. President Barack Obama). Prior to her role as the first lady of the United States, she was a lawyer, a Chicago City Administrator, and a Community-Outreach Worker.

During her tenure as Firstlady of the united states, Michelle Obama became a role model for girls, and women, and also an advocate for healthy families, veteran service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls’ education, through her four main initiatives. Namely; Let’s Move, Joining Forces, Reach Higher, and Let Girls Learn.

The Let’s Move initiative was launched in 2010, where President Obama established a Task Force on Childhood Obesity clearly stating his goal to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation and announcing the First Lady’s role in leading a national public awareness effort to improve the health of our children. 

In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities. Joining Forces works hand in hand with the public and private sectors to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the tools they need to succeed throughout their lives.

The Reach Higher initiative was the First Lady Michelle Obama’s effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.

Lastly, Michelle Obama during her tenure of office launched Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government initiative aimed at helping adolescent girls attain a quality education that empowers them to reach their full potential. With the belief that a girl with an education can shape her own destiny, lift up her family, and transform her community.

Michelle Obama has also authored several books some of which include: Becoming (2021); Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice (2019); American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America (2012); Be Vigilant But Not Afraid: The Farewell Speeches of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama(2017); Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers (2021); The First Ladies of the United States of America: Special Edition for “First Ladies: Influence and Image” C-Span original series (2013); Michelle Obama: Speeches on Life, Love, and American Values (2009); Believe in the Possibility: The Words of Michelle Obama (2009); and The Healthy Lunchtime Cookbook: Award-Winning Recipes from and for Kids by Let’s Move Initiative and Michelle Obama (2019).

Michelle was born in Chicago, Illinois by Fraser Robinson (father), who was a city-pump operator and a Democratic precinct captain. Her mother, Marian, was a secretary at Spiegel’s, but later stayed home to raise Michelle and her older brother, Craig. At just 21 months apart in age, Craig and Michelle were often mistaken for twins.

The Robinson family lived in a small bungalow on Chicago’s South Side. Michelle and Craig shared quarters, sleeping in the living room with a sheet serving as a makeshift room divider. They were a close-knit family, typically sharing meals, reading, and playing games together.

Raised with an emphasis on education, both Michelle and her brother learned to read at home by age four. Both skipped the second grade. By the sixth grade, Michelle was taking classes in her school’s gifted program, where she learned French and completed accelerated courses in biology.

Michelle went on to attend Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, the city’s first magnet high school for gifted children, where, among other activities, she served as the student government treasurer. In 1981, she graduated from the school as a class salutatorian. Following in her older brother’s footsteps, Michelle attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985 with a B.A. in Sociology. She went on to study law at Harvard Law School, where she took part in demonstrations calling for the enrollment and hiring of more minority students and professors. She was awarded her J.D. in 1988.

Marriage to Barack

Michelle and Barack married at Trinity United Church of Christ on October 3, 1992. They met in 1989, at Michelle’s first job as a lawyer at the Chicago firm Sidley Austin. Her future husband, Barack, was a summer intern to whom Michelle was assigned as an adviser.

Initially, Michelle refused to date Barack, believing that their work relationship would make the romance improper. She eventually relented, however, and the couple soon fell in love. After two years of dating, Barack proposed and together they have two children Malia Ann Obama, and Sasha Obama.

Career in Law and Public Service

After graduating from law school in 1988, Michelle worked as an associate in the Chicago branch of the firm Sidley Austin in the area of marketing and intellectual property.

In 1991, she left corporate law to pursue a career in public service, working as an assistant to Mayor Richard Daley and then as the assistant commissioner of planning and development for the City of Chicago.

In 1993, Michelle became executive director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a nonprofit leadership-training program that helped young adults develop skills for future careers in the public sector.

In 1996, Michelle joined the University of Chicago as associate dean of student services, developing the school’s first community-service program. Beginning in 2002, she worked for the University of Chicago Hospitals, as executive director of community relations and external affairs.

In May 2005, Michelle Obama was appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she continued to work part-time until shortly before her husband’s inauguration as president. She also served as a board member for the prestigious Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

At first, Michelle Obama had reservations about her husband’s presidential campaign, due to fears about a possible negative effect on their daughters. Shortly after she became convinced and convicted of his presidency causing her to greatly reduce her professional responsibilities to support his presidential campaign.

She took leave from her position at the University of Chicago to dedicate herself more fully to campaigning while still maintaining time to care for their two young daughters. An adept speaker, Michelle Obama vouched extensively for her husband during the long Democratic primary race, and in June 2008 Barack became the party’s presumptive nominee. Michelle’s openness on the campaign trail and in interviews trying to humanize Barack stating that he is just as human as any of us and not perfect. This openness caused her to be loved and liked by many. she continued to have an active role in her husband’s campaign. Indeed, campaign aides referred to her as “the closer,” for her persuasiveness on the stump among uncommitted voters who attended rallies. On November 4, 2008, Barack was elected 44th president of the United States, defeating Arizona Sen. John McCain; he took office on January 20, 2009, and was reelected in 2012

After her husband’s tenure in office, Michelle Obama kept a low profile, although her influence has remained high. In 2020, she topped Gallup’s poll of the most admired woman in America for the third year running.

In 2020 she also began hosting The Michelle Obama Podcast, which was available on Spotify, an Internet music-streaming service.


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