Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is a former first lady of the United States who served from 2009 to 2017. She was the first African-American woman to hold this office. She is married to the 44th President of the United States, former President Barack Obama. She was the first African American to serve as First Lady.
Michelle Obama was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Michelle Robinson grew up on Chicago’s South Side. Marian Robinson, a housewife who also works as a secretary at Spiegel’s, and Frasier Robinson, a water treatment plant employee, are her parents. Prior to attending Harvard Law School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and African American studies from Princeton University in New Jersey (1985).
Michelle Obama accepted a position as a junior associate at the intellectual property law firm Sidley & Austin after returning to Chicago (now Sidley Austin LLP). When she was still working there in 1989, she met Barack Obama, who had been hired as a summer associate. In 1991, she became an assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in search of a more public-service-oriented career path. The following year, she married Barack, who was then a community organizer. Michelle worked as an assistant commissioner for the Chicago Department of Planning and Development from 1992 to 1993, and in 1993 she founded the Chicago branch of Public Allies, a leadership-training program for young adults, where she served as executive director until 1996.
Dean of Student Service at the University of Chicago
Michelle Obama was the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago in 1996, when she established the institution’s Community Service Center. She began working for the University of Chicago Hospitals in 2002, first as the executive director of community affairs, then as vice president for community and external affairs beginning in May 2005.
She kept her job at the University of Chicago Hospitals during the 2008 primary campaign, but she reduced her hours to part-time in order to spend more time with her daughters and support her husband’s campaign. She then asked for a leave of absence from her job.
Michelle Obama worked for TreeHouse Foods, Inc. as a salaried board member. NYSE: THS, a major supplier to Wal-Mart from shortly after her husband was elected to the Senate until shortly after he declared his presidential candidacy. On May 14, 2007, he spoke out against Wal-labor Mart’s practices at an AFL-CIO forum in Trenton, New Jersey. She also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Political Campaign and First Lady of the United States (2009–2017)
Michelle played an important role in her husband’s campaign after he declared his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. She took a leave of absence from her job at the University of Chicago in order to devote more time to the campaign while also caring for her and Barack’s two young daughters. Michelle made numerous speeches in support of her husband during the long Democratic primary campaign, and Barack was declared the party’s presumptive nominee in June 2008.
Campaign staffers dubbed her “the closer” because of her ability to persuade undecided voters at rallies. Senator John McCain of Arizona was defeated by Barack on November 4, 2008, becoming the 44th President of the United States. He was first elected on January 20, 2009, and was re-elected in 2012.
Michelle Obama was involved in a variety of causes as first lady, including supporting military families and putting an end to childhood obesity. In order to promote healthy eating, she planted a vegetable garden on the White House’s South Lawn in 2009. She wrote about her project experiences in the book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America (2012). Michelle has received attention for her fashion sense in addition to her work on such issues.
During the 2016 presidential election, Michelle backed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and her speech at the party’s national convention drew widespread acclaim; noting the coarse tone of the race, Michelle stated, “when they go low, we go high.” Clinton eventually lost to Republican Donald Trump, who falsely claimed that Barack was not born in the United States.
Life After Presidency
Michelle kept a low profile in the media after her husband’s term expired in 2017. However, in 2018, she published Becoming, which received widespread attention and went on to become one of the best-selling autobiographies in publishing history.
The Netflix documentary Becoming (2020) was based on a book tour; Michelle and Barack had signed a production agreement with the media-streaming service in 2018. She also hosted The Michelle Obama Podcast, a Spotify-hosted online music service, in 2020. Michelle released The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times two years later, in which she provided advice on how to deal with difficult circumstances by drawing on examples 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.