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Michelle Obama Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Michelle Obama, wife of 44th US President Barack Obama.


Birth date: January 17, 1964

Birth place: Chicago, Illinois

Birth name: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson

Father: Fraser Robinson, water filtration worker

Mother: Marian (Shields) Robinson

Marriage: Barack Obama (October 3, 1992-present)

Children: Sasha, Malia

Education: Princeton University, B.A., 1985; Harvard University, J.D., 1988

Religion: Christian

Other Facts

Graduated magna cum laude with a sociology degree from Princeton.

Met Barack Obama when she was assigned to be his mentor at Sidley & Austin, a Chicago law firm.

Her father suffered from and eventually died of multiple sclerosis.

Has won a Grammy Award.


1988-1991 – Associate attorney at Sidley & Austin in Chicago.

1991-1992 Assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

1992-1993 Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development.

1993-1996Founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago.

1996-2002 – Associate Dean of Student Services for the University of Chicago and director of the University Community Service Center.

2002-2005 Executive Director for Community Affairs for University of Chicago Hospitals.

2005-2007 – Member of the board of Tree House Foods, a food supplier for Walmart stores.

2005-January 2009 – Vice President of Community and External Affairs for University of Chicago Hospitals.

January 20, 2009 Becomes the first lady of the United States.

April 2009 – “Michelle Obama: In Her Own Words” is published.

February 2009Appears on the March cover of Vogue magazine.

February 9, 2010 – Launches the national campaign, “Let’s Move!,” to reduce childhood obesity.

April 2011 – Launches the national veterans’ campaign, “Joining Forces,” with Jill Biden.

June 20, 2011 – Travels to Africa for a week to focus on youth leadership, education, health and wellness.

June 21, 2011 – Visits former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela at his home.

May 29, 2012 “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America” is published.

February 24, 2013 – Presents the Academy Award for best picture.

March 13, 2013 – Along with other high profile celebrities and politicians, Obama’s financial information is hacked and posted online. Her student loan information and credit report are posted.

March 14, 2013 – Is on the cover of April’s edition of Vogue. This is the second time she has appeared on the cover.

May 2014 – Launches the national campaign, “Reach Higher,” a higher education initiative.

March 2015 – Launches the national campaign, “Let Girls Learn,” a global focus on girls’ education.

July 2015 – Guest edits “More” magazine. Obama is the magazine’s first guest editor as well as the first, first lady to guest edit an entire issue of “More.”

November 10, 2016 – Obama hosts the soon-to-be first lady, Melania Trump, for tea and a tour of the White House residence, Press Secretary Josh Earnest says in a White House briefing.

November 11, 2016 – Is on the cover of December’s edition of Vogue. This is the third time she has appeared on the cover.

January 13, 2017 – Gives her final White House remarks thanking her supporters and saying, “being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope I’ve made you proud.”

September 27, 2017 – Remarks that “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice” during an appearance at the Inbound 2017 conference in Boston.

May 21, 2018 – Netflix announces the Obamas have signed a multi-year production deal that in which the two will work both in front of and behind the camera.

November 13, 2018 – Obama’s memoir “Becoming” is published, shooting to No. 1 on the Amazon Best Sellers list.

December 27, 2018 – Is voted the woman most admired by Americans this year, knocking Hillary Clinton from the top spot for the first time in 17 years, according to Gallup’s annual survey.

November 20, 2019 – Is nominated for a Grammy for best spoken word album for the audio version of “Becoming.”

December 30, 2019 – For the second year in a row, a Gallup survey lists Obama as the woman most admired by Americans.

January 26, 2020 – Wins a Grammy for best spoken word album for the audio version of “Becoming.”

July 16, 2020 – Announces that she is launching “The Michelle Obama Podcast” on Spotify.

March 10, 2021 – Obama speaks candidly, in an interview with People magazine about her struggles with low-grade depression during the Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges of 2020. “Depression is understandable in these circumstances, during these times,” she said in the interview. “To think that somehow that we can just continue to rise above all the shock and the trauma and the upheaval that we have been experiencing without feeling it in that way is just unrealistic.”

June 21, 2022 – Audible, Amazon’s audiobook and podcast service, announces that Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, signed an exclusive multi-year first-look production deal with Audible.

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