As the first African-American First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama is the spouse of American President Barack Obama. She is the third First Lady with a postgraduate degree and the 44th First Lady overall.
She is a lawyer by profession. She has established herself as a role model for women not just in America but throughout the world as an educated, smart, and independent lady.
She was born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson and had a typical upbringing in a middle-class family. She absorbed these virtues from her father, who, despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at an early age, never allowed the illness stand in the way of his goals. Her respect for family values was instilled in her by her homemaker mother.
She was an intelligent young lady who did well in school and later graduated from Harvard Law School. She was a successful attorney when she met and wed Barack Obama, another attorney, and soon found herself juggling her professional and personal lives.
She was important in her husband’s presidential campaigns, and after she was named First Lady, her duties multiplied. She has concentrated on topics pertaining to women’s emancipation, children’s health and education, the organic food movement, and national service in this capacity.
Childhood & Early Life
- Michelle Obama was born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 17, 1964. Fraser Robinson III, her father, ran pumps for the Chicago Water Department. Marian, her mother, was a stay-at-home mom who prioritised raising Michelle and her brother Craig.
- She had a traditional upbringing and a contented childhood. She was a smart student from an early age and, by the time she was in sixth grade at Bryn Mawr Elementary School, she had joined a gifted class.
- She went to Whitney Young High School, where she participated in the National Honor Society and took AP subjects. She was her class’ salutatorian when she earned her diploma in 1981.
- She later enrolled at Princeton University and declared sociology and African-American studies as her majors. In 1985, she received a Bachelor of Arts from Cum laude.
- She attended Harvard Law School after graduating, where she obtained her Juris Doctor (JD) in 1988. There, she assisted low-income residents with housing issues while working for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.
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- At the Chicago office of the law firm Sidley Austin, Michelle Obama was hired as an associate where she focused on marketing and intellectual property.
- She subsequently started a career in public service, serving as the assistant commissioner of planning and development for the City of Chicago before becoming the mayor’s assistant in 1991.
- She was appointed executive director of the nonprofit Chicago Office of Public Allies in 1993. She spent almost four years there, assisting and motivating young people to work on social issues in nonprofit organisations and governmental institutions.
- In 1996, Michelle Obama worked at the University of Chicago as the associate dean of student services.
- She was appointed the University of Chicago Hospitals’ executive director for community affairs in 2002, and a few years later, in 2005, she was named vice president for community and external affairs.
- By this point, she was already married to presidential candidate Barack Obama, so she made sacrifices at her own employment and finally left her well-paying position to work on her husband’s presidential campaign.
- In order to support her husband’s political ambitions, Michelle Obama significantly decreased her work obligations once Barack Obama announced his bid for president in 2007. She initially did not participate in the campaign much because she had two young girls to take care of.
- Her involvement in her husband’s career, however, had grew by February 2008. She had even started to draught her own speeches for Barack’s campaigns by this point.
- In January 2009, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama were inaugurated as the country’s President and First Lady, respectively. She participated in voluntary work at soup kitchens and homeless shelters during her first few months as First Lady.
- She fought for military families, encouraged national service, and supported measures that assist working women in balancing job and family life. She also backed her husband’s policy initiatives and the economic stimulus program.
- In 2010, she started the ‘Let’s Move!’ campaign. The campaign aims to end the childhood obesity crisis by providing healthier meals in schools and encouraging children to be more physically active. The emphasis is also on encouraging parents to make healthier choices for their children.
- In 2011, she worked with Dr. Jill Biden to develop the ‘Joining Forces’ program, which encourages all Americans to assist service troops, veterans, and their families. ‘Joining Forces’ collaborates with both the public and commercial sectors to ensure that veterans and their families receive the necessary assistance.
- She created the ‘Reach Higher’ program in 2014, with the goal of influencing young people in America to continue their education after high school. By emphasizing the importance of higher education, the program pushes students to complete a professional training course or a college or university degree.
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Personal Life & Legacy
- Michelle and Barack Obama first met in 1989. He was a summer intern at the legal company where she worked, and she was designated as his adviser. They eventually married in October 1992 after falling in love. Malia Ann and Natasha are the couple’s two daughters.
- She is a dedicated mother who prioritizes her family above anything else.
She is also well-known for her fashion sense.
- She is regarded as a fashion icon and trendsetter in the United States. The March 2009 issue of ‘Vogue‘ featured Michelle Obama on the cover and in a photo spread.