Michelle Obama

Born:January 17, 1964 (age 60)
Career:First lady of the United States, 2009-2017
Education:B.A., Princeton University
J.D., Harvard Law School

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama was first lady of the United States from 2009-2017, the wife of the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. The Obamas were the first African American president and first lady of the United States. She is also a lawyer and a writer.

Obama was born January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, and raised on Chicago's south side. She graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1985 with a B.A. in sociology and a minor in African American studies and earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988. Following law school, Obama worked as an associate in the Chicago branch of the law firm Sidley Austin in the area of marketing and intellectual property. In 1989, she met her future husband, a summer intern at Sidley Austin, whom she was assigned to as an advisor. They married on October 18, 1992.

Obama served as an assistant to the mayor and then as the assistant commissioner of planning and development for the city of Chicago. In 1993, she became executive director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a non-profit leadership training program that helped young adults develop skills for future careers in the public sector. She 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 and external affairs. In May 2005, she was appointed vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

In 2007, Obama scaled back her professional work to attend to family and campaign obligations during Barack Obama's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Initially taking a limited role in the campaign, she later became more active, giving a powerful speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

As first lady, Obama launched Let's Move!, a program aimed at ending childhood obesity. In 2011, Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative to support service members and their families. In 2014, she launched the Reach Higher Initiative, an effort to inspire young Americans to complete their post-high school education. In 2015, the Obamas launched Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government-wide initiative to help girls around the world attend school.


National First Ladies Library. (n.d.). First Lady Biography: Michelle Obama. Retrieved on October 5, 2020, from http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=45.

The White House. (n.d.). Michelle Obama. Retrieved on October 5, 2020, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/michelle-obama.