Michelle Obama (born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson) is married to Barack Obama, the 44th and sitting President of the United States, and serves as First Lady since 2009. She was born in Chicago in 1964, on January 17th, and she is the first African-American First Lady.
Michelle comes from a close-knit family concentrating on education, and at age four she could already read. After completing Whitney M. Young Magnet High School for gifted children, she graduated from Princeton University cum laude with a B.A. in Sociology in 1985 and continued to earn a Harvard Law School degree in 1988.
Michelle left the corporate law business in 1991 and started to work in the public service sector where she worked for Mayor Richard Daley and later became the (assistant) Chicago planning and development commissioner. Michelle and Barack married at Trinity United Church of Christ in 1992, on October 3rd, and in her role of First Lady, Michelle has focused on social issues like education, poverty, and healthy living.
In 1993, Michelle was appointed the director of Chicago’s Public Allies, a nonprofit program that supports young adults to develop their knowledge and skills to become future leaders in the public sector. In 1996, she was appointed an associate dean of student services at the University of Chicago where she developed the University’s first community service program, and in 2002, Michelle started to work for the Hospitals of the University of Chicago as director of external affairs and community relations.
In May 2005, she became the University of Chicago Medical Center’s vice president for community relations and external affairs, and she continued to work there on a part-time basis until Barack was sworn in as president. She first got national attention when she was at Barack’s side as he was delivering an important speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, after which he was elected as U.S. Senator from Illinois.
In 2007, she started to dedicate more time to family matters and campaign contributions as Barack was running for the Democratic presidential nomination, and while out on the campaign trail, the Obamas would leave their children with Michelle’s mother Marian. Barack Obama won the nomination to be sworn in as president on January 20th, 2009. Michelle diligently campaigned on her husband’s behalf as he was campaigning for reelection in 2012.
She gave many talks and made quite a few public appearances while traveling across the country to support Barack, until, on November 6 of 2012, he won the election, defeating Mitt Romney. Michelle was recognized for her specific no-nonsense campaigning style and her fashion and she was related to as one most inspiring women of the world.
As U.S. First Lady, Michelle Obama has dedicated much of her time to supporting military families, encouraging public service, and supporting working mothers find a balance between family and career. During their first years in the White House, Michelle and Barack were volunteering at homeless shelters around D.C., and Michelle made many appearances at schools to stress the importance of volunteer work and education.
Michelle is very conscious of family diets and health, and she is a fervent supporter of organic food movements, so at guests and the family are served predominantly organic food. Michelle, together with a group of 5th graders, planted a huge fresh vegetable garden in D.C., installed beehives on the White House’s South Lawn, and contributes to efforts to reduce childhood obesity.
Michelle strongly focuses on health-and-wellness matters, and in 2012, she launched a new fitness initiative for children under the umbrella of her ‘Let’s Move’ program. Along with several sports organizations, such as the U.S. Olympic team, she is working to persuade young people to try out new sports activities, and already in 2016, more than 1.5 million children participate in local Olympic or Paralympic sports activities.
In 2012, Michelle wrote a book about her initiatives for the promotion of healthy eating titled ‘American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America’ in which she details her experiences in creating a large community gardens in D.C., and setting up a vegetable garden at the White House as well. This way she wants to help people understand where the food they eat is coming from and to focus on her work to fight childhood obesity and promote childhood health. Michelle and Barack have two daughters, Malia (1998) and Sasha (2001).