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Junior Taamas
, Nigeria.
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Michelle LaVaughn Obama (née Robinson;
born January 17, 1964) is an American
lawyer, university administrator and writer,
who was First Lady of the United States
from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the
44th U.S. president , Barack Obama, and
was the first African-American first lady.

- Prior to her role as first lady, she was a lawyer, Chicago city administrator and community-outreach worker.

First Lady of the United States

In role
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 (age 55)
Chicago , Illinois , U.S.

Political party: Democratic

Spouse(s): Barack Obama (m. 1992)

Children: Malia • Sasha

Parents: Fraser Robinson III
Marian Shields

Relatives: Craig Robinson (brother)

Education: Princeton University (AB )
Harvard University (JD)

Who Is Michelle Obama?

Michelle Obama was born in 1964 in
Chicago, Illinois. She attended Princeton
University, graduating cum laude in 1985,
and went on to earn a degree from
Harvard Law School in 1988.

Following her graduation from Harvard,
she worked at a Chicago law firm, where
she met her husband, future U.S.
president Barack Obama. The couple
married on October 3, 1992. As first lady,
she focused her attention on social issues
such as poverty, healthy living and
education.

Young Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama was born Michelle
LaVaughn Robinson on January 17, 1964,
in Chicago, Illinois.

Michelle was raised in a small bungalow on
Chicago's South Side. Her father, Fraser
Robinson, 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. They were a
close-knit family, typically sharing meals,
reading and playing games together.

Craig and Michelle, 21 months apart in
age, were often mistaken for twins. The
siblings also shared close quarters,
sleeping in the living room with a sheet
serving as a makeshift room divider. They
were raised with an emphasis on education
and had learned to read at home by age
four. Both skipped the second grade.

Continue Reading Below
Biography: Michelle Obama (born 1964; Lawyer, Writer And Former First Lady Of The Usa) - Biography

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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
English
100Level, Nigeria.
Education

By the sixth grade, Michelle was taking
classes in her school's gifted program,
where she learned French and completed
accelerated courses in biology. She 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, Michelle
graduated from the school as class
salutatorian.

Following in her older brother's footsteps,
Michelle then 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.

Barack and Michelle Obama

After law school, Michelle worked as an
associate in the Chicago branch of the firm
Sidley Austin, in the area of marketing and
intellectual property. It was there, in
1989, that she met her future husband,
Barack Obama, a summer intern to whom
she was assigned as an adviser.

Initially, she 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.

Did You Know? The Obamas' first
kiss took place outside of a Chicago
shopping center—where a plaque
featuring a photo of the couple
kissing was installed more than two
decades later, in August 2012.


After two years of dating, Barack
proposed, and the couple married at
Trinity United Church of Christ on October 3, 1992. Their daughters, Malia and Sasha, were born in 1998 and 2001,
respectively.

Career

In 1991, Michelle decided to leave
corporate law and 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, she 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 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.

On the Campaign Trail

Michelle Obama first caught the eye of a
national audience while at her husband's
side when he delivered a high-profile
speech at the Democratic National
Convention in 2004. Barack Obama was
elected as U.S. Senator from Illinois that
November.

In 2007, Michelle scaled back her own
professional work to attend to family and
campaign obligations during Barack's run
for the Democratic presidential
nomination. When they were out on the
trail, they would leave their
daughters with their grandmother Marian,
Michelle's mother.

Barack Obama eventually won the
nomination and was elected the 44th
President of the United States. Obama was
inaugurated on January 20, 2009.

When her husband sought reelection in
2012, facing a challenging race against
Republican presidential nominee Mitt
Romney, Michelle Obama diligently
campaigned on his behalf. She traveled the
country, giving talks and making public
appearances.

Michelle Obama Speech

In September of that year, Michelle
delivered a noteworthy speech at the
Democratic National Convention. "Every
day, the people I meet inspire me, every
day they make me proud, every day they
remind me how blessed we are to live in
the greatest nation on earth," she said.
"Serving as your first lady is an honor and
a privilege."

She went on to praise the Latino
community for supporting President
Obama, and stated that her husband—"the
same man [she] fell in love with all those
years ago"—understands the American
Dream, as well as the everyday struggles of
American families, and cares deeply about
making a difference in people's lives.
Michelle won both public and critical
praise for her narrative, called a "shining
moment" by the Washington Post.

On November 6, 2012, Barack Obama was
re-elected for a second term as U.S.
president. After Mitt Romney conceded
defeat, Michelle Obama accompanied her
husband with their two daughters, Malia
and Sasha, onto the stage at McCormick
Place in Chicago, where President Obama
delivered his victory speech.

Continue Reading Below
Biography: Michelle Obama (born 1964; Lawyer, Writer And Former First Lady Of The Usa) - Biography

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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
English
100Level, Nigeria.
Michelle Obama Fashion

After her husband's political role pushed
the Obama family into the spotlight,
Michelle was publicly recognized for her
no-nonsense campaign style as well as her
sense of fashion.

In May 2006, Michelle was featured in
Essence magazine as one of "25 of the
World's Most Inspiring Women." In
September 2007, Michelle was included in
02138 magazine as number 58 in "The
Harvard 100," a yearly list of the school's
most influential alumni.

She has also twice appeared on the cover
of Vogue and made the Vanity Fair best-
dressed list two years in a row as well as
People magazine's 2008 best-dressed list.

During the inauguration ceremony for her
husband's second term, on January 21,
2013, Michelle and her daughters received
attention for their fashion choices, which
included clothes from Thom Browne, J.
Crew and Kate Spade . Michelle also drew
praise for the red Jason Wu dress she
wore during the subsequent events.

Issues and Causes

As first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama focused her attention on issues such as the support of military families, helping working women balance career and
family and encouraging national service.

During the first year of the Obama
presidency, Michelle and her husband
volunteered at homeless shelters and soup
kitchens in the Washington, D.C. area.
Michelle also made appearances at public
schools, stressing the importance of
education and volunteer work.

Ever conscious of her family's diet and
health, Michelle supported the organic-
food movement, instructing the White
House kitchens to prepare organic food
for guests and her family. In March 2009,
Michelle worked with 23 fifth graders
from a local school in Washington D.C. to
plant an 1,100-square-foot garden of
fresh vegetables and install beehives on
the South Lawn of the White House. She
also put efforts to fight childhood obesity
near the top of her agenda.

Michelle Obama remained committed to
her health-and-wellness causes. In 2012,
she announced a new fitness program for
kids as part of her Let's Move initiative.
Along with the U.S. Olympic team and
other sports organizations, she worked to
get young people to try out a new sport or
activity.

"This year, 1.7 million young people will
be participating in Olympic and Paralympic
sports in their communities — many of
them for the very first time. And that is so
important, because sometimes all it takes
is that first lesson, or clinic, or class to
get a child excited about a new sport," she
said in a statement.

Putting her message in print, Michelle
released a book as part of her mission to
promote healthy eating. American Grown:

The Story of the White House Kitchen
Garden and Gardens Across America
(2012) explores her own experience
creating a vegetable garden as well as the
work of community gardens elsewhere.

She told Reuters that she saw the book as
an opportunity to help readers understand
"where their food was coming from" and
"to talk about the work that we're doing
with childhood obesity and childhood
health."

First Family

Both Michelle and Barack Obama have
stated that their personal priority is their
two daughters, Malia and Sasha. The
parents realized that the move from
Chicago to Washington D.C. would be a
major adjustment for any family.

Residing in the White House, having Secret
Service protection and always being in the
wake of their parents' public obligations
dramatically transformed their lives.

Both parents tried to make their
daughters' world as "normal" as possible,
with set times for studying, going to bed
and getting up. "My first priority will
always be to make sure that our girls are
healthy and grounded," Michelle has said.

"Then I want to help other families get the
support they need, not just to survive, but
to thrive."

Support for Hillary Clinton

In July 2016, former first lady, senator and
secretary of state Hillary Clinton became
the official Democratic nominee for the
American presidency, becoming the first
woman in the U.S. to win a major political
party's presidential nomination.

On the first night of the Democratic
National Convention, Michelle spoke in
support of Clinton, who had previously run
against Barack Obama during the 2008
primaries, and her vision of a progressive
America.

"I wake up every morning in a house that
was built by slaves, and I watch my
daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black
young women, playing with their dogs on
the White House lawn," she said. "And
because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters,
and all our sons and daughters, now take
for granted that a woman can be president of the United States."

Obama continued to campaign for Clinton,
speaking out forcefully against the
campaign of Republican candidate Donald
Trump, who went on to win the
presidential election.

On January 13, 2017, Obama made her
final speech as first lady at the White
House, saying "being your first lady has
been the greatest honor of my life and I
hope I've made you proud."

In an emotional moment, she addressed
young Americans: ”I want our young
people to know that they matter, that they
belong. So don't be afraid. You hear me,
young people? Don't be afraid. Be focused.

Be determined. Be hopeful. Be
empowered. Empower yourself with a
good education. Then get out there and
use that education to build a country
worthy of your boundless promise. Lead
by example with hope; never fear."

After the White House

After leaving the White House, Obama
remained highly sought after for her
words of wisdom. In November 2017,
during a conversation with poet Elizabeth
Alexander at the Obama Foundation's
inaugural youth leadership summit in
Chicago, she spoke about the problems
with impulsively firing off thoughts on
social media.

"When you have a voice, you can't just use
it any kind of way, you know?" she said.

"You don't just say what's on your mind.
You don't tweet every thought. Most of
your first initial thoughts are not worthy
of the light of day." It was believed to be a
rebuke of President Trump, a notorious
Twitter devotee, though Obama clarified
that she was "talking about all of us."
The former first lady also addressed the
topic of protecting women from sexual
harassment, a hot-button issue stemming
from recent accusations made against
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and
others in position of power.

"When we think about women in particular
we ask them to speak up. We ask them to
speak their mind. We ask them to just say
no, to speak out against sexual
harassment," Obama said. "But if we don't
teach our young girls to speak at an early
age, that doesn't just happen. It takes
practice to have a voice. You have to use
it again, and again, and again before you
can say 'no.' Or 'stop.' 'Don't touch me.'"
On February 12, 2018, the Smithsonian's
National Portrait Gallery unveiled its
official portraits of Barack and Michelle
Obama. Rendered by African-American
artists, the colorful portraits were
noticeably different from the more
traditional efforts of past years: Kehinde
Wiley's work featured Barack in a chair
surrounded by greenery and symbolic
flowers, while Amy Sherald depicted the
former first lady in a flowing dress, gazing
back at viewers from a sea of blue.

'Becoming'

Later that year, Obama published her
memoir, Becoming . Describing the "deeply
personal experience" of writing the book,
she tweeted: "I talk about my roots and
how a girl from the South Side found her
voice. I hope my journey inspires readers
to find the courage to become whoever
they aspire to be."

In May 2018, Michelle and Barack Obama
announced that they signed a multi-year
deal to produce series and films for
Netflix. “Barack and I have always believed
in the power of storytelling to inspire us,
to make us think differently about the
world around us,” the former First Lady
said in a statement.

Citation Information

Article Title
Michelle Obama Biography

Author
Biography.com Editors

Website Name
The Biography.com website

URL
www.biography.com/us-first-lady/michelle-obama

Access Date
Saturday May 18, 2019

Publisher
A&E Television Networks

Last Updated
April 17, 2019

Original Published Date
April 2, 2014
Biography: Michelle Obama (born 1964; Lawyer, Writer And Former First Lady Of The Usa) - Biography

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