First lady, Michelle Obama is more than just the President’s wife. She plays the role of the modern first lady, an iconic figure in society involved in government happenings, children’s events and issues, and taking strides to make changes for a better America.
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama was born on January 17, 1964. As Barack Obama’s wife, she is the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Michelle Robinson was born and grew up on the South Side of Chicago. All of her life she showcased her strong intellect and by sixth grade was attending gifted classes, where she learned French and took accelerated courses. She then went on to attend the city’s first magnet high school for gifted children where, among other activities, she served as the student government treasurer. “Without being immodest, we were always smart, we were always driven and we were always encouraged to do the best you can do, not just what’s necessary,” her brother Craig, has said. “And when it came to going to schools, we all wanted to go to the best schools we could.”
After high school, she followed her brother to Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985 with a B.A. in Sociology. She went on to earn a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988, where she took part in demonstrations demanding more minority students and professors. She completed her formal education and returned to Chicago and accepted a position with the law firm Sidley Austin, where in 1989 she met her future husband. I went to Harvard and he went to Harvard, and the firm thought, ‘Oh, we’ll hook these two people up,’” Michelle said. “So, you know, there was a little intrigue, but I must say after about a month, Barack…asked me out, and I thought no way. This is completely tacky.” Initially, she refused to date Obama, believing that their work relationship would make the romance improper. Eventually she relented, and the couple soon fell in love. After two years of dating, Barack proposed. “We were at a restaurant having dinner to celebrate the fact that he had finished the bar,” Michelle remembers. “Then the waiter came over with the dessert and a tray. And there was the ring. And I was completely shocked.” The couple married at Trinity United Church of Christ on October 18, 1992.
Michelle joined the University of Chicago in 1996 as associate dean of student services, developing the University’s first community service program. She then worked for the University of Chicago Hospitals beginning in 2002, as executive director of community relations and external affairs. In May 2005, she was appointed vice president of community relations and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she continues to work part-time. She also manages the business diversity program and sits on six boards, including the prestigious Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Michelle Obama first caught the eye of a national audience at her husband’s side when he delivered a high-profile speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate from Illinois that November.
Throughout 2007 and 2008, she helped campaign for her husband’s presidential bid and delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. She is the mother of two daughters, Malia and Sasha, and is the sister of Craig Robinson, men’s basketball coach at Oregon State University. Since her husband’s political role pushed the Obama family into the spotlight, Michelle has been publicly recognized for her steely, no-nonsense campaign style as well as her sense of fashion. In May of 2006, Michelle was featured in Essence magazine as one of “25 of the World’s Most Inspiring Women.” Then in September 2007, Michelle was listed in 02138 magazine as number 58 in “The Harvard 100,” a list of the most influential alumni for the year. She has also made the Vanity Fair best-dressed list two years in a row, as well as People Magazine’s 2008 best-dressed list.
As the 44th First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama has focused her attention on issues such as the support of military families, helping working women balance career and family, and encouraging national service.
Via: American Biography