First Ladies: Michelle Robinson Obama

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Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama served as First Lady to her husband, Barack Obama. As First Lady, Obama became a fashion icon, a role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating.

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama was born on January 17, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois to Fraser and Marian Shields Robinson III.

She graduated from high school in 1981, as the salutatorian of her class. She then followed her brother to Princeton University. Upon graduating from Princeton, she went on to Harvard Law School, where she graduated in 1988.

After law school, she joined the law firm of Sidley & Austin in Chicago.

She was assigned to mentor a summer associate, at the law firm where she was working, named Barack Obama. The couple married on October 3, 1992.

Barack and Michelle Obama

In 1993, she became Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a non-profit organization encouraging young people to work on social issues in nonprofit groups and government agencies. She also became a wonderful fund raiser.

In 1996, Obama served as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago, where she developed the University’s Community Service Center.

In 2002, she began working for the University of Chicago Hospitals, first as executive director for community affairs and, beginning May 2005, as Vice President for Community and External Affairs.

In 1998, their daughter Malia Ann was born. She was joined by a sister Natasha “Sasha” in 2001.

After his election to the U.S. Senate, the Obama family continued to live on Chicago’s South Side, choosing to remain there rather than moving to Washington, D.C.

Barack and Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama initially had reservations when her husband decided to campaign for president. She worried about the negative effect on their daughters and allowing their private lives to become an open book. However, she helped her husband campaign.

Throughout her husband’s 2008 campaign for US President, she made a “commitment to be away overnight only once a week – to campaign only two days a week and be home by the end of the second day” for their two daughters.

Michelle Obama became First Lady on January 20, 2009 when her husband became president. Her mother moved in to help with the care of the Obama daughters.

During her early months as First Lady, Obama visited homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Some initiatives of First Lady Michelle Obama include advocating on behalf of military families, helping working women balance career and family, encouraging national service, and promoting the arts and arts education.

Michelle Obama

In 2009 Michelle Obama was named Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Person of the year.

In April 2012, Obama and husband were awarded the Jerald Washington Memorial Founders’ Award by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Michelle Obama building the first White House Kitchen Garden since Eleanor Roosevelt and installing bee hives.

In January 2010, Obama undertook her first lead role in an administration-wide initiative, which she named “Let’s Move!,” to make progress in reversing the 21st century trend of childhood obesity. On February 9, 2010, the First Lady announced Let’s Move! and President Barack Obama created the Task Force on Childhood Obesity.

Barack and Michelle Obama with their daughters

In 2012, she published a book on gardening.

While First Lady, Obama traveled greatly around the world.

She often appeared on the Best Dressed list and her style is compared to that of Jacqueline Kennedy. She also appeared for numerous TV interviews and appearances.

In January 2017, the Obama’s left the White House after two terms.

Time will reveal what is ahead for them.

However, Michelle Obama will be remembered for her style and Let’s Move initiative.