116 Facts About Michelle Obama


Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama was born on January 17,1964 and is an American attorney and author who served as the first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017.


Michelle Obama was the first African-American woman to serve in this position.


Michelle Obama subsequently worked in nonprofits and as the associate dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago as well as the vice president for Community and External Affairs of the University of Chicago Medical Center.


Michelle Obama married Barack in 1992, and together they have two daughters.


Michelle Obama campaigned for her husband's presidential bid throughout 2007 and 2008, delivering a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.


Michelle Obama has subsequently delivered acclaimed speeches at the 2012,2016, and 2020 conventions.


Michelle Obama supported American designers and was considered a fashion icon.


In 2020, Michelle Obama topped Gallup's poll of the most admired woman in America for the third year running.


Michelle Obama's mother was a full-time homemaker until Michelle entered high school.


Michelle Obama's paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was born into slavery in 1850 on Friendfield Plantation, near Georgetown, South Carolina.


Michelle Obama became a freedman at age 15 after the war.


Michelle Obama was raised in what she describes as a "conventional" home, with "the mother at home, the father works, you have dinner around the table".


Michelle Obama played piano, learning from her great-aunt, who was a piano teacher.


Michelle Obama's father suffered from multiple sclerosis, which had a profound effect on her.


Michelle Obama attended Whitney Young High School, Chicago's first magnet high school, established as a selective enrollment school, where she was a classmate of Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita.


Michelle Obama recalled being fearful of how others would perceive her, but disregarded any negativity around her and used it "to fuel me, to keep me going".


Michelle Obama recalled facing gender discrimination growing up, saying, for example, that rather than asking her for her opinion on a given subject, people commonly tended to ask what her older brother thought.


Michelle Obama was on the honor roll for four years, took advanced placement classes, was a member of the National Honor Society, and served as student council treasurer.


Michelle Obama graduated in 1981 as the salutatorian of her class.


Michelle Obama has said she was overwhelmed during her 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.


Michelle Obama ran their daycare center, which offered after school tutoring for older children.


Michelle Obama challenged the teaching methodology for French because she felt it should be more conversational.


Michelle Obama researched her thesis by sending a questionnaire to African-American graduates, asking that they specify when and how comfortable they were with their race prior to their enrollment at Princeton and how they felt about it when they were a student and since then.


Michelle Obama's findings did not support her hope that the black alumni would still identify with the African-American community, even though they had attended an elite university and had the advantages that accrue to its graduates.


Michelle Obama worked for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, assisting low-income tenants with housing cases.


Michelle Obama is the third first lady with a postgraduate degree, after her two immediate predecessors, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush.


Michelle Obama later said her education gave her opportunities beyond what she had ever imagined.


Michelle Obama's father was Fraser C Robinson III, who worked at the city's water purification plant.


Michelle Obama was assigned to mentor him while he was a summer associate.


Barack Obama has said the couple had an "opposites attract" scenario in their initial interest in each other, since Michelle had stability from her two-parent home while he was "adventurous".


The Michelle Obama family lived on Chicago's South Side, where Barack taught at the University of Chicago Law School.


Michelle Obama was elected to the state senate in 1996, and to the US Senate in 2004.


Michelle Obama once requested that her then-fiance meet her prospective boss, Valerie Jarrett, when considering her first career move; Jarrett became one of her husband's closest advisors.


In 2008, Michelle Obama said in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that they did not intend to have any more children.


Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama's mother, moved in to the White House to assist with child care.


Michelle Obama was raised United Methodist and joined the Trinity United Church of Christ, a mostly black congregation of the Reformed denomination known as the United Church of Christ.


The Michelle Obama family attended several different Protestant churches after moving to Washington DC in 2009, including Shiloh Baptist Church and St John's Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square, known as the Presidents' Church.


Michelle Obama continues to hold her law license, but as she no longer needs it for her work, she has kept it on a voluntary inactive status since 1993.


Michelle Obama worked there nearly four years and set fundraising records for the organization that still stood twelve years after she had left.


Michelle Obama later said she had never been happier in her life prior to working "to build Public Allies".


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


Michelle Obama continued to hold the University of Chicago Hospitals position during the primary campaign of 2008, but cut back to part-time in order to spend time with her daughters as well as work for her husband's election.


Michelle Obama subsequently took a leave of absence from her job.


Michelle Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.


Michelle Obama knew it meant their lives would be subject to scrutiny and she was intensely private.


Michelle Obama opposed her husband's run for the congressional seat, and, after his defeat, she preferred he tend to the financial needs of the family in what she deemed a more practical way.


At first, Michelle Obama had reservations about her husband's presidential campaign, due to fears about a possible negative effect on their daughters.


Michelle Obama says she negotiated an agreement in which her husband was to quit smoking in exchange for her support of his decision to run.


In May 2007, three months after her husband declared his presidential candidacy, Michelle Obama reduced her professional responsibilities by 80 percent to support his presidential campaign.


Michelle Obama wrote her own stump speeches for her husband's presidential campaign and generally spoke without notes.


Michelle Obama delivered her speech, during which she sought to portray herself and her family as the embodiment of the American Dream.


Michelle Obama said her husband's winning the nomination was a fairly strong indicator that it was.


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 Michelle Obama campaign was to use her without tarnishing her popularity.


Michelle Obama was considered a polarizing figure, having aroused both "sharp enmity and deep loyalty" from Americans, but she was seen as having improved her image since 2008 when her husband first ran for the presidency.


Michelle Obama was later criticized for appearing detached and for looking down when addressing Romney.


Michelle Obama aimed to humanize her husband by relating stories about him, attempting to appeal to female voters in swing states.


Michelle Obama sent representatives to schools and advocated public service.


Michelle Obama advocated for her husband's policy priorities by promoting bills that support it.


Michelle Obama 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.


Michelle Obama supported the economic stimulus bill in visits to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and United States Department of Education.


On June 5,2009, the White House announced that Michelle Obama was replacing her then chief of staff, Jackie Norris, with Susan Sher, a longtime friend and adviser.


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


Some initiatives of First Lady Michelle Obama included 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 made supporting military families and spouses a personal mission and increasingly bonded with military families.


Michelle 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.


In May 2014, Michelle Obama joined the campaign to bring back school girls who had been kidnapped in Nigeria.


Michelle Obama writes in her book about enlisting help for her initiative Let Girls Learn to produce and sing the song "This is for My Girls".


On January 14,2016, during a town-hall meeting, President Michelle Obama was asked if the first lady could be talked into running.


Michelle Obama extended their support of 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.


Michelle Obama had bee hives installed on the South Lawn of the White House.


Michelle Obama's call for action on healthy eating was repeated by the United States Department of Defense, which has been facing an ever-expanding problem of obesity among recruits.


On May 9,2012, Barack and Michelle Obama came out publicly in favor of same-sex marriage.


In May 2009, Michelle 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.


In March 2015, Michelle Obama traveled to Selma, Alabama, with her family to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches.


In July 2015, Michelle Obama journeyed to Coachella Valley while coming to Los Angeles for that year's Special Olympics World Games.


In October 2015, Michelle Obama was joined by Jill Biden and Prince Harry in visiting a military base in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, in an attempt on the prince's part to raise awareness to programs supporting harmed service members.


In December 2015, Michelle 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.


Michelle Obama embraced her before attending an event with world leaders.


Michelle Obama praised her, though the hug generated controversy for being out of protocol when greeting Elizabeth.


In Mexico, Michelle Obama spoke to students, encouraging them to take responsibility for their futures.


Michelle Obama traveled to Africa for the second official trip in June 2011, touring Johannesburg, Cape Town and Botswana and meeting with Graca Machel.


Michelle Obama was involved with community events in the foreign countries.


In March 2014, Michelle Obama visited China along with her two daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother Marian Robinson.


Michelle Obama met with Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese president Xi Jinping, visited historic and cultural sites, as well as a university and two high schools.


In January 2015, Michelle Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia alongside her husband, following the death of King Abdullah.


Michelle Obama 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.


Michelle Obama was neither greeted nor acknowledged by King Salman during the encounter.


In June 2015, Michelle Obama undertook a weeklong trip to London and three Italian cities.


Michelle Obama was joined by her two daughters and mother.


Michelle Obama continued advancing her initiative for international education for women by speaking at the 2015 World Innovation Summit for Education for her "Let Girls Learn" initiative in Doha, Qatar, and touring a school in Amman, Jordan, where she met with female students.


In Jordan, Michelle Obama had intended to visit an Amman school, which had been constructed with assistance from US funds.


In March 2016, Michelle 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.


Michelle Obama campaigned for Democratic candidates in the 2010 midterm elections, making her debut on the campaign trail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Michelle Obama toured seven states in two weeks within October 2010.


The Los Angeles Times concluded that while Michelle Obama was indeed more popular than her husband, her "election scorecard proved no better than his, particularly in her home state".


Michelle Obama was a participant in the 2014 midterm elections, held at a time where her popularity superseded her husband's to such an extent that it was theorized she would receive a much larger outpour of support in campaigning.


Michelle Obama endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and made several high-profile speeches in favor of her, including an address at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.


Michelle Obama appeared multiple times on the campaign trail in either solo or joint appearances with Clinton.


On October 13,2016, Michelle Obama heavily criticized Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for the statements he made in a 2005 audio recording while at a Clinton rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.


Michelle Obama was an honorary guest at Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball as a "young'un" paying tribute to the "Legends" who helped pave the way for African-American women.


Michelle Obama appeared on the 2008 People list of best-dressed women and was praised by the magazine for her "classic and confident" look.


At the time of her husband's election, some sources anticipated that as a high-profile African-American woman in a stable marriage Michelle Obama would be a positive role model who would influence the view the world has of African Americans.


Questions were raised by some in the American and British media regarding protocol when the Obamas met Queen Elizabeth II and Michelle reciprocated a touch on her back by the Queen during a reception, purportedly against traditional royal etiquette.


Michelle Obama has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy due to her sense of style, and to Barbara Bush for her discipline and decorum.


Michelle Obama became a fashion trendsetter, in particular favoring sleeveless dresses, including her first-term official portrait in a dress by Michael Kors, and her ball gowns designed by Jason Wu for both inaugurals.


Michelle Obama has been known for wearing clothes by African designers such as Mimi Plange, Duro Olowu, Maki Oh, and Osei Duro, and styles such as the Adire fabric.


Michelle Obama appeared on the cover and in a photo spread in the March 2009 issue of Vogue.


Michelle Obama later appeared two more times on the cover of Vogue, while First Lady, the last time in December 2016, with photographs by Annie Leibovitz.


Michelle Obama 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 May 2017, during an appearance at the Partnership for a Healthier America conference, Michelle Obama rebuked the Trump administration for its delay of a federal requirement designed to increase the nutritional standards for school lunches.


In July, Michelle Obama honored Eunice Shriver at the 2017 ESPY Awards.


In September, Michelle Obama delivered an address at the tech conference in Utah charging the Trump administration with having a fearful White House, appeared in a video for the Global Citizens Festival advocating more attention to giving young girls an education, and attended the Inbound 2017 conference in Boston.


On January 2,2021, Michelle Obama encouraged Georgia residents to vote in the state's runoff in the US Senate election and to contact VoteRiders, a non-profit voter ID education organization, to make sure they have the necessary ID to vote.


Michelle Obama wore a matching plum coat, sweater, pants, and belt designed by Sergio Hudson to the inauguration.


In February 2021, Michelle Obama was announced as an executive producer and presenter on a children's cooking show, Waffles + Mochi.