Michelle Obama
Wife of the 44th President of the United States
Michelle Obama
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is the wife of the 44th and incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Obama attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School before returning to Chicago and to work at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M.
Biography
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News
News abour Michelle Obama from around the web
Why It Matters What President Trump Eats
Huffington Post - 2 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); It appears that one of the most visible achievements of Michelle Obama’s legacy as first lady will live on in the Trump White House: her garden. First lady Melania Trump announced last week that she would preserve the White House vegetable garden planted in 2009. It came as a surprise to many nutrition advocates and food policy experts, who had expressed fears that Michelle Obama’s garden and the health and nutrition initiatives it symbolized could be enda ...
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Huffington Post article
Emma Watson's Dream House Guest Is, Duh, Michelle Obama
Huffington Post - 6 days
This video has all the things we love: Emma Watson, cute kids, a Michelle Obama shoutout, “Harry Potter” goodies. Seriously, the only thing that could make this better is if the former first lady herself appeared carrying a basket full of deplorables puppies.  Ahead of the release of Disney’s highly anticipated live-action remake of “Beauty and the Best,” Watson sat down to answer some questions from her adoring public, aka children under the age of 10.  With the help of Entertainment Weekly, the actress fielded a bevy of questions from youngsters inquiring about everything from Belle and Hermione to Darth Vader, but there was one that particularly warmed our hearts.  When two 20-month-olds named Riley and Addison (thanks to some helpful baby to adult translation) asked Watson if she could have any guest over to her house, the actress had the perfect response.  “Michelle Obama,” she answered. “Just for a quick chat you know. Just for a quick pep talk. That ...
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Huffington Post article
Young Black Woman's Thoughts: President Trumps Inauguration
Huffington Post - 7 days
I had lunch yesterday (Thursday before the inauguration) with a colleague and mentor. In the midst of catching up and asking how her teenage daughters are doing, a story was recounted that on Christmas my colleague's mother (and daughters' grandmother) asked the oldest daughter (15 years old) how she was feeling about the future. And her response even at the tender age of 15 directly and indirectly sum up the thoughts of many right now, "I am trying to just make it through the next 4 years". As I watched the live footage of President Obama leaving the Oval Office for the last time on CNN with Uncle Joe (yes we millennials or at least among my network think of Vice President Biden as our amazing quirky uncle) and Dr. Biden in tow, I honestly wanted to cry with a mix of feelings. I am sure this sentiment most likely reflects the thoughts and feelings of many today. But the real question is at the crux of my colleague's 15 year old daughter's statement, "how do WE make it through th ...
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Huffington Post article
The Legacy Called Obama
Huffington Post - 8 days
From the moment I awoke, angst wrapped itself around me. This was the day I, and countless people around the world, never wanted to see. This was the day Barack and Michelle Obama would bid our country farewell as President and First Lady. My emotions were scattered. In one moment, I felt a hollowness similar to when I lose a loved one. In another, the now familiar sense of despair about what will become of this country without President Obama's leadership. Then in the next, a gripping sadness that the golden era of Obama was now over. But it was not until I saw the status update of a Facebook friend that I was able to aptly characterize my feelings. She said that the departure of the Obamas felt like a bad break up. That is exactly what it felt like. My eight-year love affair with the Obamas was ending. And although I knew the day would one day come when they would leave, and take Malia, Sasha, Mrs. Robinson, Bo, and Sunny right along with them, it still hurt like hel ...
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Huffington Post article
See why Michelle Obama, more celebs have us hashtagging relationship goals
CNN - 9 days
Celebrities are sharing the love this Valentine's Day.
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CNN article
2011 Clip Of The Obamas Talking About Their Marriage Will Make You Miss Them Even More
Huffington Post - 10 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); In today’s edition of Obama Relationship Goals, let’s take a look back at the first couple’s 2011 Oprah Show appearance, when then-president Barack Obama reminded all of us about the love and respect at the foundation of a solid marriage. During the interview, the president and first lady Michelle Obama sat down to talk about their lives, their relationship and their time in the White House. Reflecting on his lead-up to the presidency, President Obama gave ...
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Huffington Post article
Barack Obama goes kiteboarding on a private island, and there’s video to prove it
Yahoo News - 16 days
Since leaving the White House, former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have been living the good life. Making good on his promise to go on a two-week vacation, the former First Couple have been travelling quite a bit since Donald Trump's inauguration. After a short stint in Palm Springs, the Obamas then flew over to an island owned by famed billionaire Richard Branson. We've since seen a few photos and videos of the Obama's vacation leak out, including a shot of Obama donning a backwards baseball cap . Clearly a brilliant fashion choice, the backwards baseball cap lets everyone know -- fans and critics alike -- that the post-Presidency Obama is down to party and is really intent on embracing that laid back island lifestyle. And lest you think that Obama is all show and no action, the former President recently went kitesurfing on Moskito Island, located on the British Virgin Islands. What's that you say? You need to see it to believe it? Say no more. Branson earlier t ...
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Yahoo News article
Obama makes rest of us look bad with his effortless kitesurfing - Washington Post
Google News - 16 days
Washington Post Obama makes rest of us look bad with his effortless kitesurfing Washington Post Barack Obama seems to be living it up these days. Photos and videos emerged last week of the former president taking a stroll alongside Michelle Obama in the British Virgin Islands wearing what can only be described as a full-vacation mode outfit ... Biden Gets a Job, and Obama Goes KitesurfingNew York Times President Obama and Richard Branson share hilarious vacation videoAOL News This Video Of Obama Kitesurfing Is Giving Us New LifeYahoo News International Business Times -New York Daily News -WTNH Connecticut News (press release) -BBC News all 302 news articles »
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Google News article
Chuck Schumer Trolls GOP Over Donald Trump's Comparison Of America To Vladimir Putin
Huffington Post - 17 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON — After President Donald Trump shrugged off the idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “killer” by suggesting the U.S. is just as bad, Democrats had a question for their GOP colleagues on Monday: Where’s the outrage? Trump made the remark on Fox News, when host Bill O’Reilly called Putin a “killer,” prompting Trump to respond: “There are a lot of killers. We got a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” One could sup ...
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Huffington Post article
Back to reality: Obamas settle into DC life
CNN - 19 days
Vacation's over. After a two-week escape to Palm Springs and the British Virgin Islands, Barack and Michelle Obama are back in Washington, where they will begin to settle into the post-White House life.
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CNN article
Exit By First Black Female 'Today' Show Co-Host Called 'Whitewashing' By Journalists' Group
Huffington Post - 21 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); The “Today” show is facing a shake-up that has some raising eyebrows. Last month, NBC revealed plans to bring former Fox News host Megyn Kelly into its morning lineup, reportedly bumping co-hosts Tamron Hall and Al Roker from the 9 a.m. slot. On Wednesday, NBC announced that Hall would be leaving the network after three years as a co-host on the show. She’d surprised her colleagues by rejecting a multimillion-dollar deal amid the hour’s healthy ratings; ac ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Michelle Obama
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    In March 2016, Obama accompanied her husband and children to Cuba in a trip that was seen by the administration as having the possibility of positively impacting relations between the country and America.
    More Details Hide Details Later that month, the First Couple and their daughters traveled to Argentina, meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri.
    On March 16, 2016, while speaking in Austin, Texas, Obama denied that she would ever run for the office, citing a desire to "impact as many people as possible in an unbiased way."
    More Details Hide Details Obama's predecessors Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush supported the organic movement by instructing the White House kitchens to buy organic food, and Obama extended their efforts toward healthy eating by planting the White House Kitchen Garden, an organic garden, the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt served as First Lady, and installing bee hives, on the South Lawn of the White House. The garden supplied organic produce and honey to the First Family and for state dinners and other official gatherings.
    On January 14, 2016, during a town-hall meeting, President Obama was asked if the First Lady could be talked into running.
    More Details Hide Details He responded, "There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and Michelle is not running for president. That I can tell you."
    She also spoke during the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where she delivered a speech in support of the Democratic Presidential nominee, and fellow First Lady, Hillary Clinton.
    More Details Hide Details As First Lady, Obama has become a fashion icon, a role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, to Fraser Robinson III, a city water plant employee and Democratic precinct captain, and Marian Shields Robinson, a secretary at Spiegel's catalog store. Her mother was a full-time homemaker until Michelle entered high school. The Robinson and Shields families trace their roots to pre-Civil War African Americans in the American South. On her father's side, she is descended from the Gullah people of South Carolina's Low Country region. Her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was a slave on Friendfield Plantation in South Carolina, the state where some of her paternal family still reside. Her grandfather Fraser Robinson, Jr. built his own house in South Carolina. He and his wife LaVaughn (née Johnson) returned to the Low Country after retirement.
  • 2015
    She continued advancing her initiative for international education for women by speaking at the 2015 World Innovation Summit for Education for the "Let Girls Learn" initiative in Doha, Qatar and touring a school in Amman, Jordan, where she met with female students.
    More Details Hide Details During the Qatar trip, Obama had intended to visit Jordan as well, but the trip was canceled due to weather conditions. In Jordan, Obama had intended to visit an Amman school, which had been constructed with assistance from U.S. funds.
    In June 2015, Obama undertook a weeklong trip to London and three Italian cities.
    More Details Hide Details In London, she spoke with students about international education for adolescent girls and met with both British Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince Harry. She was joined by her two daughters and mother. In November, she spent a week in Qatar, her first official visit to the Middle East.
    In January 2015, Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia alongside her husband, following the death of King Abdullah.
    More Details Hide Details She received criticism for not covering her head in a nation where women are forbidden from publicly not doing so, though Obama was defended for being a foreigner and thus not having to submit to Saudi Arabia's customs, even being praised in some corners. Obama was neither greeted nor acknowledged by King Salman during the encounter.
    In December 2015, Obama traveled with her husband to San Bernardino, California, to meet with families of the victims of a terrorist attack that occurred two weeks earlier.
    More Details Hide Details On April 1, 2009, Obama met with Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace, Obama embracing her before attending an event with world leaders. Obama praised her, though the hug generated controversy for being out of protocol when greeting Elizabeth. In April 2010, Obama traveled to Mexico, her first solo visit to a nation. In Mexico, Obama spoke to students, encouraging them to take responsibility for their futures. Referring to the underprivileged children, Obama argued that "potential can be found in some of the most unlikely places", citing herself and her husband as examples. Obama traveled to Africa for the second official trip in June 2011, touring Johannesburg, Cape Town and Botswana and meeting with Graca Machel. Obama was also involved with community events in the foreign countries. It was commented by White House staff that her trip to Africa would advance the foreign policy of her husband.
    In October 2015, Obama was joined by Jill Biden and Prince Harry in visiting a military base in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, an attempt on the prince's part to raise awareness to programs supporting harmed service members.
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    In July 2015, Obama journeyed to Coachella Valley while coming to Los Angeles for that year's Special Olympics World Games.
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    In March 2015, Obama traveled to Selma, Alabama, with her family to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches.
    More Details Hide Details Obama publicly stated her daughter Sasha would have been exposed to the same violence as that of protesters during the Selma marches had she been alive. After President Obama's remarks there, the Obamas joined original marchers in crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
  • 2014
    Several Republicans have critiqued or lampooned Obama's initiative. In October 2014, senator Rand Paul linked to Michelle Obama's Twitter account when announcing on the website that he was going to Dunkin' Donuts. In January 2016, Republican Governor of New Jersey and presidential candidate Chris Christie condemned the First Lady's involvement with healthy eating while on the campaign trail in Iowa, arguing that she was using the government to exercise her views on eating.
    More Details Hide Details Obama had previously cited Christie as an example of an adult who struggled with obesity, a demographic she sought to diminish by targeting children since Let's Move! was "working with kids when they're young, so that they don't have these direct challenges when they get older." In February, Senator Ted Cruz indicated that Obama's health policies would end under his administration, promising that french fries would return to cafeterias if his wife was First Lady.
  • 2013
    During the 2013 Academy Awards, she became the first First Lady to announce the winner of an Oscar (Best Picture which went to Argo).
    More Details Hide Details The media have been criticized for focusing more on the First Lady's fashion sense than her serious contributions. She said after the 2008 election that she would like to focus attention as First Lady on issues of concern to military and working families. In 2008 U.S. News & World Report blogger, PBS host and Scripps Howard columnist Bonnie Erbé argued that Obama's own publicists seemed to be feeding the emphasis on style over substance, and has stated that Obama is miscasting herself by overemphasizing style.
    In August 2013, Obama attended the 50th anniversary ceremony for the March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial.
    More Details Hide Details Positive attention was brought to Obama's attire, a black sleeveless dress with red flowers, designed by Tracy Reese. Reese reacted by releasing a public statement that he was honored the First Lady "would choose to wear one of our designs during the celebration of such a deeply significant historical moment".
  • 2012
    After her speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Obama was found through a CBS News/New York Times poll conducted in September to have a 61% favorably rating with registered voters, the highest favorability she had sustained since April 2009. Obama aimed to humanize her husband with relating stories about him, attempting to appeal to female voters in swing states. It was commented by Paul Harris of The Guardian that the same tactic was being used by Ann Romney, wife of 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
    More Details Hide Details Polls in October showed their husbands tied at 47% for the female vote. However, Michelle Obama's favorability ratings remained higher than Ann Romney's at 69% to 52%. Despite Obama's higher poll numbers, comparisons between Obama and Romney were consistently made by the media until the election, regardless of Michelle Cottle of Newsweek writing, "nobody votes for first lady."
    Obama campaigned for her husband's re-election in 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Beginning in 2011, Obama became more politically active than she had been since the 2008 election, though avoided discussions about the re-election bid. By the time of the election cycle, she had developed a more open public image, some viewing her as the most popular member of the Obama administration, as her poll numbers having never dropped below 60% since entering the White House and an Obama senior campaign official even dubbed her "the most popular political figure in America". The positive assessment was reasoned to have contributed to her active role in the re-election campaign, but it was noted that the challenge for the Obama campaign was using her without tarnishing her popularity. Obama was viewed as a polarizing figure, having both "sharp enmity and deep loyalty" from Americans, but she was also seen as having improved her image since the time of the last election when her husband initially ran for the presidency. It was commented by Isabel Wilkinson of The Daily Beast that her style changed over the course of the campaign to sensitive and economical.
    On May 9, 2012, Barack and Michelle Obama came out publicly in favor of same-sex marriage.
    More Details Hide Details Prior to this, Michelle Obama had never stated her position on same-sex marriage publicly. Senior White House officials said that Michelle Obama and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett had been the two most consistent advocates for same-sex marriage in Barack Obama's life. Michelle went on to say that "This is an important issue for millions of Americans, and for Barack and me, it really comes down to the values of fairness and equality we want to pass down to our girls. These are basic values that kids learn at a very young age and that we encourage them to apply in all areas of their lives. And in a country where we teach our children that everyone is equal under the law, discriminating against same-sex couples just isn't right. It's as simple as that." At the 2012 DNC Michelle said, "Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it... and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we're from, or what we look like, or who we love."
  • 2011
    After the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell on September 20, 2011, Obama included openly gay service members in her national military families initiative.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2010
    Obama campaigned for Democratic candidates in the 2010 midterm elections, making her debut on the campaign trail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
    More Details Hide Details By the time she began campaigning, Obama's approval rating was 20 percentage points higher than her husband. Though Obama indicated in January 2010 that a consensus had not been made about whether she would campaign, speculation of her involvement came from her large approval rating as well as reports that she had been invited to speak at events with Democrats such as Barbara Boxer, Mary Jo Kilroy and Joe Sestak. She toured seven states in two weeks within October 2010. Though viewed as essential by the White House, aides reported that she would not become deeply involved with political discussions nor engage Republicans in public disputes. After the elections took place, only six of the thirteen Democratic candidates Obama had campaigned for won. The Los Angeles Times concluded that while Obama was indeed more popular than her husband, her "election scorecard proved no better than his, particularly in her home state."
    On February 9, 2010, the First Lady announced Let's Move! and President Barack Obama created the Task Force on Childhood Obesity to review all current programs and create a national plan towards change.
    More Details Hide Details Michelle Obama stated that her goal was to make this effort her legacy: "I want to leave something behind that we can say, 'Because of this time that this person spent here, this thing has changed.' And my hope is that that's going to be in the area of childhood obesity." Her 2012 book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America is based on her experiences with the garden and promotes healthy eating. Her call for action on healthy eating has been echoed by the United States Department of Defense, which has been facing an ever expanding problem of recruit obesity.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 2009
    On June 5, 2009, the White House announced that Michelle Obama was replacing her current chief of staff, Jackie Norris, with Susan Sher, a longtime friend and adviser.
    More Details Hide Details
    In May 2009, Obama delivered the commencement speech at a graduating ceremony at UC Merced in Merced County, California, the address being praised afterward by students who found her relatable.
    More Details Hide Details Kevin Fagan of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that there was chemistry between Obama and the students.
    On April 6, 2009, CNN did a poll on whether she should run for the presidency in 2020, 83% of responders being opposed to the idea.
    More Details Hide Details A May 2015 Rasmussen poll found Obama had 22% of support to Clinton's 56% of winning the Democratic nomination, higher than that of potential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders. Alternatively, another poll from that month found 71% of Americans believed that Obama should not run for the presidency, only 14% approving.
    In 2009 Michelle Obama was named Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating Person of the year.
    More Details Hide Details 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. Obama has made supporting military families and spouses a personal mission and has been increasingly bonding with military families. According to her aides, stories of the sacrifice these families make move her to tears. In April 2012, Obama and husband were awarded the Jerald Washington Memorial Founders' Award by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV).The award is the highest honor given to homeless veteran advocates. Obama was again honored with the award in May 2015, accepting with Jill Biden. In November 2013, a Politico article by Michelle Cottle accusing Obama of being a "feminist nightmare" for not using her position and education to advocate for women's issues was sharply criticized across the political spectrum. Cottle quoted Linda Hirshman saying of Obama's trendy styles, promotion of gardening and healthy eating, and support of military families that "She essentially became the English lady of the manor, Tory Party, circa 1830s." A prominent critic of Cottle was MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, who rhetorically asked "Are you serious?" Supporters of Obama note that the First Lady has been one of the only people in the administration to address obesity, through promoting good eating habits, which is one of the leading US public health crises.
    Obama advocated for her husband's policy priorities by promoting bills that support it. She hosted a White House reception for women's rights advocates in celebration of the enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 Pay equity law.
    More Details Hide Details She supported the economic stimulus bill in visits to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and United States Department of Education. Some observers looked favorably upon her legislative activities, while others said that she should be less involved in politics. According to her representatives, she intends to visit all United States Cabinet-level agencies in order to get acquainted with Washington.
  • 2008
    In the 2008 US presidential election, Obama boasted, to gay Democrat groups, of her husband's record on LGBT rights: his support of the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Illinois gender violence act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, and full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, civil unions; along with hate crimes protection for sexual orientation and gender identity and renewed effort to fight HIV and AIDS.
    More Details Hide Details They have both been opponents of constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage in the federal, California, and Florida constitutions. She said that the US Supreme Court delivered justice in the Lawrence v. Texas case and drew a connection between the struggles for gay rights and civil rights by stating "We are all only here because of those who marched and bled and died, from Selma to Stonewall, in the pursuit of a more perfect union."
    Another key aide, Spelman College alumna Kristen Jarvis, served from 2008 until 2015, when she left to become chief of staff to the Ford Foundation president Darren Walker.
    More Details Hide Details
    On an October 6, 2008 broadcast, Larry King asked Obama if the American electorate was past the Bradley effect.
    More Details Hide Details She stated that her husband's achievement of the nomination was a fairly strong indicator that it was. The same night she also was interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show where she deflected criticism of her husband and his campaign. On Fox News' America's Pulse, E. D. Hill referred to the fist bump shared by the Obamas on the night that he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination as a "terrorist fist jab"; Hill was taken off air and the show itself was cancelled. During her early months as First Lady, Obama visited homeless shelters and soup kitchens. She also sent representatives to schools and advocated public service.
    By the time of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in August, media outlets observed that her presence on the campaign trail had grown softer than at the start of the race, focusing on soliciting concerns and empathizing with the audience rather than throwing down challenges to them, and giving interviews to shows like The View and publications like Ladies' Home Journal rather than appearing on news programs.
    More Details Hide Details The change was even reflected in her fashion choices, wearing more informal clothes in place of her previous designer pieces. The View appearance was partly intended to help soften her public image, and it was widely covered in the press. The presidential campaign was Obama's first exposure to the national political scene; even before the field of Democratic candidates was narrowed to two, she was considered the least famous of the candidates' spouses. Early in the campaign, she told anecdotes about the Obama family life; however, as the press began to emphasize her sarcasm, she toned it down. The New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd wrote: On the first night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Craig Robinson introduced his younger sister. She delivered her speech, during which she sought to portray herself and her family as the embodiment of the American Dream. Obama said both she and her husband believed "that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, and you do what you say you're going to do, that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them." She also emphasized loving her country, in response to criticism for her previous statements about feeling proud of her country for the first time, where the original statement was seen as a gaffe.
    Early in the campaign, she had limited involvement in which she traveled to political events only two days a week and rarely traveled overnight; by early February 2008 her participation had increased significantly, attending thirty-three events in eight days.
    More Details Hide Details She made several campaign appearances with Oprah Winfrey. She wrote her own stump speeches for her husband's presidential campaign and generally spoke without notes. Throughout the campaign, some media often labeled Michelle Obama as an "Angry Black Woman," and some web sites attempted to propagate this image, prompting her to respond: "Barack and I have been in the public eye for many years now, and we've developed a thick skin along the way. When you're out campaigning, there will always be criticism. I just take it in stride, and at the end of the day, I know that it comes with the territory."
  • 2007
    In May 2007, three months after her husband declared his presidential candidacy, Obama reduced her professional responsibilities by 80 percent to support his presidential campaign.
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    Obama served as a salaried board member of TreeHouse Foods, Inc., a major Wal-Mart supplier with which she cut ties immediately after her husband made comments critical of Wal-Mart at an AFL-CIO forum in Trenton, New Jersey, on May 14, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details She also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. During an interview in 1996, Michelle Obama acknowledged that there was a "strong possibility" her husband would begin a political career, but said she was "wary" of the process due to it meaning that their lives would become "an open book" while she was private. Although she has campaigned on her husband's behalf since early in his political career by handshaking and fund-raising, she did not relish the activity at first. When she campaigned during her husband's 2000 run for United States House of Representatives, her boss at the University of Chicago asked if there was any single thing about campaigning that she enjoyed; after some thought, she replied that visiting so many living rooms had given her some new decorating ideas. She reportedly turned down requests by the campaign for her to attend fundraisers. Obama was against her husband's run for the congressional seat and after his defeat would have preferred her husband tending to the financial needs of the family in what she deemed a more practical way.
    Throughout 2007 and 2008, Obama campaigned for her husband's presidential bid, delivering a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
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  • 2006
    According to the couple's 2006 income tax return, her salary was $273,618 from the University of Chicago Hospitals, while her husband had a salary of $157,082 from the United States Senate.
    More Details Hide Details The Obamas' total income, however, was $991,296, which included $51,200 she earned as a member of the board of directors of TreeHouse Foods, and investments and royalties from his books. Obama reflected that she had never been happier in her life prior to working "to build Public Allies".
  • 2002
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She continued to hold the University of Chicago Hospitals position during the primary campaign, but cut back to part-time in order to spend time with her daughters as well as work for her husband's election; she subsequently took a leave of absence from her job.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1996
    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.
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  • 1993
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She worked there nearly four years and set fundraising records for the organization that still stood 12 years after she left.
  • 1992
    They married in October 1992, and have two daughters, Malia Ann (born 1998) and Natasha (known as Sasha, born 2001).
    More Details Hide Details 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. 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. She once requested that her then-fiancé meet her prospective boss, Valerie Jarrett, when considering her first career move; Jarrett is now one of her husband's closest advisors. The marital relationship has had its ebbs and flows; the combination of an evolving family life and beginning political career led to many arguments about balancing work and family. Barack Obama wrote in his second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, that "Tired and stressed, we had little time for conversation, much less romance." However, despite their family obligations and careers, they continued to attempt to schedule date nights while they lived in Chicago.
    Barack and Michelle married in 1992 and have two daughters.
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  • 1991
    In 1991, she held public sector positions in the Chicago city government as an Assistant to the Mayor, and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development.
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    Obama's father Fraser C. Robinson III died from complications from his illness in March 1991.
    More Details Hide Details She would later say that although he was the "hole in my heart" and "loss in my scar", the memory of her father has motivated her each day since. Her friend Suzanne Alele died from cancer around this time as well, Obama later telling Katie Couric that the loss made her think of her contributions toward society and how well she was influencing the world from her law firm. This was seen as a turning point for Michelle. Michelle met Barack Obama when they were among the few African Americans at their law firm, Sidley Austin (she has sometimes said only two, although others have pointed out there were others in different departments), and she was assigned to mentor him while he was a summer associate. Their relationship started with a business lunch and then a community organization meeting where he first impressed her. Before meeting Obama, Michelle had previously told her mother that she would focus solely on her career. The couple's first date was to the Spike Lee movie Do the Right Thing. Barack Obama opined that he and Michelle had an "opposites attract" scenario in their interest for each other initially since Michelle had stability through her two-parent home while he was "adventurous".
  • TEENAGE
  • 1988
    Robinson went on to earn her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Harvard Law School in 1988.
    More Details Hide Details By the time she applied for Harvard Law, biographer Bond wrote, her confidence had grown; "This time around, there was no doubt in her mind that she had earned her place". Her faculty mentor at Harvard Law was Charles Ogletree, who has said that she had answered the question that had plagued her throughout Princeton by the time she arrived at Harvard Law, of whether she would remain the product of her parents or keep the identity she had acquired at Princeton, believing that she concluded she could be "both brilliant and black." At Harvard she participated in demonstrations advocating the hiring of professors who were members of minorities and worked for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, assisting low-income tenants with housing cases. She is the third First Lady with a postgraduate degree, after her two immediate predecessors, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. She would later say her education gave her opportunities beyond what she had ever imagined. In July 2008, she accepted the invitation to become an honorary member of the 100-year-old black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, which had no active undergraduate chapter at Princeton when she attended.
  • 1985
    She majored in sociology and minored in African American studies, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 1985.
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  • 1983
    She was inspired to follow her brother to Princeton University, where he graduated in 1983, after which he went on to become a basketball coach at Oregon State University and Brown University.
    More Details Hide Details She recalls that some of her teachers in high school tried to dissuade her from applying, that she had been told she was "setting my sights too high". She believed that her brother's alumni status may have helped her during the admission process, but she was resolved to demonstrate her own worthiness. She acknowledges that she was overwhelmed when first arriving in first year, attributing this to the fact that neither of her parents had graduated from college, and that she had never spent time on a college campus. The mother of a white roommate reportedly unsuccessfully tried to get her daughter moved because of Michelle's race. She recalls her time at Princeton being the first time she was made more aware of her ethnicity and that despite the willingness of her classmates and teachers to want to understand her, she still felt "like a visitor on campus." "I remember being shocked," she says, "by college students who drove BMWs. I didn't even know parents who drove BMWs."
  • 1981
    She graduated in 1981 as the salutatorian of her class.
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  • OTHER
  • 1964
    Born on January 17, 1964.
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