|Michelle Obama, official portrait 2013|
|First Lady of the United States|
January 20, 2009
|Preceded by||Laura Bush|
|Born||Michelle LaVaughn Robinson
January 17, 1964
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Barack Obama (m. 1992)|
|Children||Malia Ann Obama (b. 1998)
Natasha Obama (b. 2001)
|Residence||Hyde Park, Chicago (private)
White House (official)
|Alma mater||Princeton University (A.B. 1985)
Harvard Law School (J.D. 1988)
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964), an American lawyer and writer, is the wife of the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, she is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and spent the early part of her legal career working at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Throughout 2007 and 2008, she helped campaign for her husband's presidential bid. She delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and also spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She is the mother of Malia and Natasha (Sasha). As the wife of a Senator, and later the First Lady, she has become a fashion icon and role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, and healthy eating.
Family and education
Early life and ancestry
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, to Fraser Robinson III, a city water plant employee and Democratic precinct captain, and Marian (née Shields), a secretary at Spiegel's catalog store. Her mother was a full-time homemaker until Michelle entered high school. The Robinson and Shields families can trace their roots to pre-Civil War African Americans in the American South. Specifically, she is descended from the Gullah people of South Carolina's Low Country region. Her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was an American slave on Friendfield Plantation in the state of South Carolina, where some of her paternal family still reside. Her grandfather Fraser Robinson had built his own house in South Carolina, and he and his wife LaVaughn (née Johnson) returned to the Low Country after retirement.
Among her maternal ancestors was her great-great-great-grandmother, Melvinia Shields, a slave on Henry Walls Shields' 200-acre farm in Clayton County, Georgia; he and his children would have worked along with the slaves. Her first son Dolphus T. Shields, was biracial and born into slavery about 1860. Based on DNA and other evidence, in 2012 researchers said his father was likely 20-year-old Charles Marion Shields, son of her master. (Charles later married a white woman and had white children). Melvinia did not talk to relatives about Dolphus' father. Dolphus Shields moved to Birmingham, Alabama after the Civil War, and some of his children migrated to Cleveland, Ohio and Chicago.
All four of Michelle's grandparents were multiracial, reflecting the complex history of the US, but her extended family said that people didn't talk about the era of slavery when they were growing up. Michelle Obama's distant ancestry also includes Irish and other European roots. In addition, a paternal first cousin is the African-American Jewish Rabbi Capers Funnye, son of her grandfather's sister.
Michelle grew up in a two-story house on Euclid Street in Chicago's South Shore community area. Her parents rented a small apartment on the house's second floor from her great-aunt, who lived downstairs. She was raised in what she describes as a "conventional" home, with "the mother at home, the father works, you have dinner around the table." Her elementary school was down the street. The family enjoyed playing games such as Monopoly and reading, and frequently saw extended family on both sides. They attended services at nearby South Shore Methodist Church. The Robinsons used to vacation in a rustic cabin in White Cloud, Michigan. She and her 21-month older brother, Craig, skipped the second grade. Her brother is a former basketball coach at Oregon State University and Brown University. By sixth grade, Michelle joined a gifted class at Bryn Mawr Elementary School (later renamed Bouchet Academy).
Education and early career
She attended Whitney Young High School, Chicago's first magnet high school, where she was a classmate of Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita. The round-trip commute from the Robinsons' South Side home to the Near West Side, where the school was located, took three hours. Michelle Robinson 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. She graduated in 1981 as the salutatorian of her class.
Michelle was inspired to follow her brother to Princeton University, where Craig graduated in 1983. At Princeton, she challenged the teaching methodology for French because she felt that it should be more conversational. As part of her requirements for graduation, she wrote a thesis entitled Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community. "I remember being shocked," she says, "by college students who drove BMWs. I didn't even know parents who drove BMWs." While at Princeton, she got involved with the Third World Center (now known as the Carl A. Fields Center), an academic and cultural group that supported minority students, running their day care center, which also included after school tutoring. Robinson majored in sociology and minored in African American studies; she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 1985. She earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. At Harvard she participated in demonstrations advocating the hiring of professors who were members of minorities and worked for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, assisting low-income tenants with housing cases. She is the third First Lady with a postgraduate degree, after her two immediate predecessors, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Laura Bush. In July 2008, Obama accepted the invitation to become an honorary member of the 100-year-old black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, which had no active undergraduate chapter at Princeton when she attended.
She met Barack Obama when they were among the few African Americans at their law firm, Sidley Austin (she has sometimes said only two, although others have pointed out there were others in different departments), and she was assigned to mentor him as a summer associate. Their relationship started with a business lunch and then a community organization meeting where he first impressed her. The couple's first date was to the Spike Lee movie Do the Right Thing. They married in October 1992, and have two daughters, Malia Ann (born 1998) and Natasha (known as Sasha, born 2001). After his election to the U.S. Senate, the Obama family continued to live on Chicago's South Side, choosing to remain there rather than moving to Washington, D.C. Throughout her husband's 2008 campaign for US President, she made a "commitment to be away overnight only once a week – to campaign only two days a week and be home by the end of the second day" for their two children.
She once requested that her then-fiancé meet her prospective boss, Valerie Jarrett, when considering her first career move. Now, Jarrett is one of her husband's closest advisors. The marital relationship has had its ebbs and flows; the combination of an evolving family life and beginning political career led to many arguments about balancing work and family. Barack Obama wrote in his second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, that "Tired and stressed, we had little time for conversation, much less romance." However, despite their family obligations and careers, they continue to attempt to schedule date nights.
The Obamas' daughters attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, a private school. As a member of the school's board, Michelle fought to maintain diversity in the school when other board members connected with the University of Chicago tried to reserve more slots for children of the university faculty. This resulted in a plan to expand the school. Malia and Sasha now attend Sidwell Friends School in Washington, after also considering Georgetown Day School. Michelle stated in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that they do not intend to have any more children. The Obamas have received advice from past first ladies Laura Bush, Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Rodham Clinton about raising children in the White House. Marian Robinson, Michelle's mother, has moved into the White House to assist with child care.
Michelle Obama is a Protestant Christian. She was raised Methodist and joined the Trinity United Church of Christ, where she and Barack Obama married, performed by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. On May 31, 2008, Barack and Michelle Obama announced that they had withdrawn their membership in Trinity United Church of Christ stating that "Our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Reverend Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views."
The Obama family has attended several different churches since moving to Washington D.C. in 2009, including Shiloh Baptist Church and St. John's Episcopal Church. At the 49th African Methodist Episcopal Church's general conference, Michelle Obama encouraged the attendees to advocate for political awareness, saying "To anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better – no place better, because ultimately, these are not just political issues – they are moral issues, they're issues that have to do with human dignity and human potential, and the future we want for our kids and our grandkids."
Following law school, she was an associate at the Chicago office of the law firm Sidley Austin, where she first met her future husband. At the firm, she worked on marketing and intellectual property. She continues to hold her law license, but as she no longer needs it for her work, it has been on a voluntary inactive status since 1993.
In 1991, she held public sector positions in the Chicago city government as an Assistant to the Mayor, and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development. In 1993, she became Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a non-profit organization encouraging young people to work on social issues in nonprofit groups and government agencies. She worked there nearly four years and set fundraising records for the organization that still stood 12 years after she left.
In 1996, she served as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago, where she developed the University's Community Service Center. In 2002, she began working for the University of Chicago Hospitals, first as executive director for community affairs and, beginning May 2005, as Vice President for Community and External Affairs. She continued to hold the University of Chicago Hospitals position during the primary campaign, but cut back to part-time in order to spend time with her daughters as well as work for her husband's election; she subsequently took a leave of absence from her job. According to the couple's 2006 income tax return, her salary was $273,618 from the University of Chicago Hospitals, while her husband had a salary of $157,082 from the United States Senate. The Obamas' total income, however, was $991,296, which included $51,200 she earned as a member of the board of directors of TreeHouse Foods, and investments and royalties from his books.
She served as a salaried board member of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE: THS), a major Wal-Mart supplier with whom she cut ties immediately after her husband made comments critical of Wal-Mart at an AFL-CIO forum in Trenton, New Jersey, on May 14, 2007. She serves on the board of directors of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Although Obama has campaigned on her husband's behalf since early in his political career by handshaking and fund-raising, she did not relish the activity at first. When she campaigned during her husband's 2000 run for United States House of Representatives, her boss at the University of Chicago asked if there was any single thing about campaigning that she enjoyed; after some thought, she replied that visiting so many living rooms had given her some new decorating ideas.
At first, Obama had reservations about her husband's presidential campaign, due to fears about a possible negative effect on their daughters. She says that she negotiated an agreement in which her husband was to give up smoking in exchange for her support of his decision to run. About her role in her husband's presidential campaign she has said: "My job is not a senior adviser." During the campaign, she has discussed race and education by using motherhood as a framework.
In May 2007, three months after her husband declared his presidential candidacy, she reduced her professional responsibilities by 80 percent to support his presidential campaign. Early in the campaign, she had limited involvement in which she traveled to political events only two days a week and traveled overnight only if their daughters could come along; by early February 2008 her participation had increased significantly, attending thirty-three events in eight days. She made several campaign appearances with Oprah Winfrey. She wrote her own stump speeches for her husband's presidential campaign and generally spoke without notes.
Throughout the campaign, some media often labeled her as an "angry black woman," and some web sites attempted to propagate this image, prompting her to respond: "Barack and I have been in the public eye for many years now, and we've developed a thick skin along the way. When you're out campaigning, there will always be criticism. I just take it in stride, and at the end of the day, I know that it comes with the territory." By the time of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in August, media outlets observed that her presence on the campaign trail had grown softer than at the start of the race, focusing on soliciting concerns and empathizing with the audience rather than throwing down challenges to them, and giving interviews to shows like The View and publications like Ladies' Home Journal rather than appearing on news programs. The change was even reflected in her fashion choices, wearing more informal clothes in place of her previous designer pieces. The View appearance was partly intended to help soften her public image, and it was widely covered in the press.
The presidential campaign was her first exposure to the national political scene; even before the field of Democratic candidates was narrowed to two, she was considered the least famous of the candidates' spouses. Early in the campaign, she told anecdotes about the Obama family life; however, as the press began to emphasize her sarcasm, she toned it down. New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd wrote:
I wince a bit when Michelle Obama chides her husband as a mere mortal – a comic routine that rests on the presumption that we see him as a god ... But it may not be smart politics to mock him in a way that turns him from the glam JFK into the mundane Gerald Ford, toasting his own English muffin. If all Senator Obama is peddling is the Camelot mystique, why debunk this mystique?
On the first night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Craig Robinson introduced his younger sister. She delivered her speech, during which she sought to portray herself and her family as the embodiment of the American Dream. Obama said both she and her husband believed "that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, and you do what you say you're going to do, that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them." She also emphasized loving her country, in response to criticism for her previous statements about feeling proud of her country for the first time. That keynote address was largely well received and drew mostly positive reviews. A Rasmussen Reports poll found that her favorability among Americans reached 55%.
On an October 6, 2008 broadcast, Larry King asked her if the American electorate was past the Bradley effect. She stated that her husband's achievement of the nomination was a fairly strong indicator that it was. The same night she also was interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show where she deflected criticism of her husband and his campaign. On Fox News' America's Pulse, E. D. Hill referred to the fist bump shared by the Obamas on the night that he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination as a "terrorist fist jab"; Hill was taken off air and the show itself was cancelled.
First Lady of the United States
Obama advocated of her husband's policy priorities by promoting bills that support it. 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. She supported the economic stimulus bill in visits to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and United States Department of Education. Some observers looked favorably upon her legislative activities, while others said that she should be less involved in politics. According to her representatives, she intends to visit all United States Cabinet-level agencies in order to get acquainted with Washington.
On June 5, 2009, the White House announced that Michelle Obama was replacing her current chief of staff, Jackie Norris, with Susan Sher, a longtime friend and adviser. Norris became a senior adviser to the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Other initiatives of First Lady Michelle Obama include advocating on behalf of military families, helping working women balance career and family, encouraging national service, and promoting the arts and arts education. Obama has made supporting military families and spouses a personal mission and has been increasingly bonding with military families. According to her aides, stories of the sacrifice these families make move her to tears.
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 seen with sharp criticism across the political spectrum. Cottle quoted Linda Hirshman saying of Obama's trendy styles, promotion of gardening and healthy eating, and support of military families that "She essentially became the English lady of the manor, Tory Party, circa 1830s." Most predominant in that criticism of Cottle was MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, who rhetorically asked "Are you serious?" Supporters of Obama note that the First Lady has been one of the only people in the administration to address obesity, through promoting good eating habits, which is one of the leading US public health crises.
In March 2014, Obama posted on a blog on the White House website that she and her two daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother Marian Robinson, would visit China later that month. She met with Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping and visited historic and cultural sites, as well as a university and two high schools. In May 2014, Obama joined the campaign to bring back school girls whom have been kidnapped in Nigeria. The First Lady tweeted a picture of herself holding a poster with the #bringbackourgirls campaign hashtag.
Obama's predecessors Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush supported the organic movement by instructing the White House kitchens to buy organic food, and Obama extended their efforts toward 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, and installing bee hives, on the South Lawn of the White House. The garden supplied organic produce and honey to the First Family and for state dinners and other official gatherings.
In January 2010, Obama undertook her first lead role in an administration-wide initiative, which she named "Let's Move!," to make progress in reversing the 21st century trend of childhood obesity. On February 9, 2010, the First Lady announced Let's Move! and President Barack Obama created the Task Force on Childhood Obesity to review all current programs and create a national plan towards change. Michelle Obama stated that her goal was to make this effort her legacy: "I want to leave something behind that we can say, 'Because of this time that this person spent here, this thing has changed.' And my hope is that that's going to be in the area of childhood obesity." Her 2012 book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America is based on her experiences with the garden and promotes healthy eating. Her call for action on healthy eating has been echoed by the United States Department of Defense, which has been facing an ever expanding problem of recruit obesity.
Both Michelle Obama and her husband have been committed advocates of LGBT rights. In the 2008 US presidential election, Michelle boasted, to gay Democrat groups, of her husband's record on LGBT rights. She was proud of his cosponsorship of a bill amending the Illinois Human Rights Act to include protections for LGBT people that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, housing, and all public places. Together they support many issues which he has acted upon politically including his support for the following: the Illinois gender violence act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, civil unions, hate crimes protection for sexual orientation and gender identity and renewed effort to fight HIV and AIDS. They have both been opponents of constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage in the federal, California, and Florida constitutions. She said that the US Supreme Court delivered justice in the Lawrence v. Texas case and drew a connection between the struggles for gay rights and civil rights by stating "We are all only here because of those who marched and bled and died, from Selma to Stonewall, in the pursuit of a more perfect union."
After the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell on September 20, 2011, Michelle Obama included openly gay service members in her national military families initiative. On March 19, 2012, Michelle Obama said her husband's Supreme Court nominees will weigh in on decisions that will determine whether Americans can "love whomever they choose." On May 9, 2012, Barack and Michelle Obama came out publicly in favor of same-sex marriage. Prior to this, Michelle Obama had never stated her position on same-sex marriage publicly. Senior White House officials claim that Michelle Obama and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett had been the two most consistent advocates for same-sex marriage in Obama's life and who has repeatedly told her friends in the LGBT community that Obama was moving in their direction, according to people familiar with those interactions. Michelle went on to say that "This is an important issue for millions of Americans, and for Barack and me, it really comes down to the values of fairness and equality we want to pass down to our girls. These are basic values that kids learn at a very young age and that we encourage them to apply in all areas of their lives. And in a country where we teach our children that everyone is equal under the law, discriminating against same-sex couples just isn't right. It's as simple as that." At the 2012 DNC Michelle said "Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it ... and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we're from, or what we look like, or who we love."
Public image and style
With the ascent of her husband as a prominent national politician, Michelle Obama has become a part of popular culture. In May 2006, Essence listed her among "25 of the World's Most Inspiring Women." In July 2007, Vanity Fair listed her among "10 of the World's Best Dressed People." She 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. In September 2007, 02138 magazine listed her 58th of 'The Harvard 100'; a list of the prior year's most influential Harvard alumni. Her husband was ranked fourth. In July 2008, she made a repeat appearance on the Vanity Fair international best dressed list. She also 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 she would be a positive role model who would influence the view the world has of African-Americans. Her fashion choices were part of the 2009 Fashion week, but Obama's influence in the field did not have the impact on the paucity of African-American models who participate, that some thought it might.
Her public support grew in her early months as First Lady, as she was accepted as a role model. On her first trip abroad in April 2009, she toured a cancer ward with Sarah Brown, wife of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Newsweek described her first trip abroad as an exhibition of her so-called "star power" and MSN described it as a display of sartorial elegance. 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. Palace sources denied that any breach in etiquette had occurred.
She has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy due to her sense of style, and also to Barbara Bush for her discipline and decorum. Obama's style has been described as "fashion populist." In 2010, she wore clothes, many high end, from more than 50 design companies with less expensive pieces from J.Crew and Target, and the same year a study found that her patronage was worth an average of $14 million to a company. She 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.
She appeared on the cover and in a photo spread in the March 2009 issue of Vogue. Every First Lady since Lou Hoover (except Bess Truman) has been in Vogue, but only Hillary Clinton had previously appeared on the cover. In August 2011, she appeared on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, the first person to do so in 48 years, and the first woman. During the 2013 Academy Awards, she became the first First Lady to announce the winner of an Oscar (Best Picture which went to Argo).
The media have been criticized for focusing more on the First Lady's fashion sense than her serious contributions. She has stated that she would like to focus attention as First Lady on issues of concern to military and working families. In 2008 U.S. News & World Report blogger, PBS host and Scripps Howard columnist Bonnie Erbé argued that Obama's own publicists seemed to be feeding the emphasis on style over substance. Erbé has stated on several occasions that Obama is miscasting herself by overemphasizing style.
- Donahue, Wendy. "Michelle Obama emerges as an American fashion icon". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 4, 2011.
- "Michelle Obama settling in as a role model". Washington Times. Retrieved June 4, 2011.
- White, Deborah. "Michelle Obama, Married to President Barack Obama". U.S. liberal politics. About.com. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
- Rossi, Rosalind (January 20, 2007). "The woman behind Obama". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on February 15, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
- Slevin, Peter (March 18, 2009). "Mrs. Obama goes to Washington". Princeton Alumni Weekly 109 (10): 18–22.
- "Research into Michelle Obama's Roots". Megan Smolenyak.
- "Examining Michelle Obama's Lowcountry roots". islandpacket.com. April 4, 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- Murray, Shailagh (October 2, 2008). "A Family Tree Rooted In American Soil: Michelle Obama Learns About Her Slave Ancestors, Herself and Her Country". The Washington Post. p. C01. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
- Bone, James (November 6, 2008). "From slave cabin to White House, a family rooted in black America". The Times (London). Retrieved November 7, 2008.
- Levinson, Molly (June 4, 2008). "Michelle: Barack's bitter or better half?". BBC News. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Norris, Michele (July 9, 2007). "Spouses on the Campaign Trail: Michelle Obama Sees Election as Test for America". All Things Considered (NPR). Retrieved April 3, 2009.
- Rachel L. Swarns, "Meet Your Cousin, the First Lady: A Family Story, Long Hidden", New York Times, 16 June 2012.
- Swarns, Rachel L.; Kantor, Jodi (October 7, 2009). "In First Lady's Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
- Produced by Meghan Louttit/The New York Times (June 22, 2012). "The First Family: A New Glimpse of Michelle Obama's White Ancestors — Interactive Feature". Southern States (US): NYTimes.com. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- Chafets, Zev (2009-04-05). "Obama's Rabbi". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- Anthony Weiss (2008-09-02). "Michelle Obama Has a Rabbi in Her Family". The Forward. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- Saslow, Eli (February 1, 2009). "From the Second City, An Extended First Family". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
- Finnegan, William (May 31, 2004). "The Candidate: How the Son of a Kenyan Economist Became an Illinois Everyman". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
- Pickert, Kate (October 13, 2008). "Michelle Obama, A Life". Time. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
- Bennetts, Leslie (December 27, 2007). "First Lady in waiting". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
- Newton-Small, Jay (August 25, 2008). "Michelle Obama's Savvy Sacrifice". Time. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- Goodman, Jeff (May 5, 2014). "Oregon State fires Craig Robinson". ESPN. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
- Ross, Rosalind (November 10, 2008). "Kids at Michelle Obama's old school see reflection". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 14, 2008. Retrieved November 17, 2008.
- West, Cassandra (September 1, 2004). "Her plan went awry, but Michelle Obama doesn't mind – Chicago Tribune". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- Johnson, Rebecca (September 2007). "The natural". Vogue. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
- Klein, Sarah A. (May 5, 2008). "Focus: Women to Watch: Michelle Obama". ChicagoBusiness (Crain Communications, Inc.). p. 29.
- Robinson, Michelle LaVaughn (1985), Sociology Department. "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community (96 pages)." Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University. (Thesis currently unavailable from this library; see next footnote for links to text.)
- Ressner, Jeffrey (February 22, 2008). "Michelle Obama thesis was on racial divide". Politico.com. Retrieved April 19, 2008.
- Biography Today. Detroit, Michigan: Omnigraphics. 2009. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-7808-1052-5.
- "Academic Departments & Programs". The Trustees of Princeton University. 2008. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
- Brown, Sarah (December 7, 2005). "Obama '85 Masters Balancing Act". Daily Princetonian. Archived from the original on February 20, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2009.
- Wolffe, Richard (February 25, 2008). "Barack's Rock". Newsweek. Retrieved April 3, 2009.
- "Biography Today", p.117
- Connolly, Katie (November 29, 2008). "Very Little in Common But That 'O'". Newsweek. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
- Bogues, Austin (July 14, 2008). "Sorority Celebrates Michelle Obama's Acceptance". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
- Mundy, Liza (October 5, 2008). "When Michelle Met Barack". The Washington Post Magazine. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
- Kornblut, Anne E. (May 11, 2007). "Michelle Obama's Career Timeout". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
- Fornek, Scott (October 3, 2007). "Michelle Obama: 'He Swept Me Off My Feet'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2007.
- Greene, Nick; Whitworth, Melissa (January 22, 2009). "50 things you didn't know about Michelle Obama". London: IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
- Springen, Karen and Darman, Jonathan (January 29, 2007). "Ground Support". Newsweek. Retrieved April 3, 2009.
- Piasecki, Joe (June 5, 2008). "Mother, wife, superstar". Pasadena Weekly. Retrieved April 3, 2009.
- Roberts, Robin (May 22, 2007). "Michelle Obama: 'I've Got a Loud Mouth'". ABC News. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
- Langley, Monica (February 11, 2008). "Michelle Obama Solidifies Her Role". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
- Herrmann, Andrew (October 19, 2006). "Fame puts squeeze on family life: Many hurdles as Obamas seek balance". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Bedard, Paul (November 21, 2008). "Whispers Poll: President-Elect Obama and Michelle Obama's Date Night". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
- Loh, Sandra Tsing (September 9, 2008). "The Rantings of a P.T.A. Mom". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- Leiby, Richard L (November 22, 2008). "Obama Girls Will Go To Sidwell Friends: Elite Private School Is 'Best Fit' for Next First Family". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
- Smalley, Suzanne (November 22, 2008). "Just One More Frame!: How do you raise kids in the White House and 'keep them normal,' too?". Newsweek. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
- Zeleny, Jeff (September 4, 2008). "Michelle Obama: 'I'm Done'". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- Erbe, Bonnie (November 7, 2008). "Michelle Obama Slights Working Women". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
- "Obama resigns from Trinity United Church of Christ. UPDATE. Obama to answer questions about his church Saturday night.". http://adage.com. May 31, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Obama, Michelle. "Remarks by the First Lady at the African Methodist Episcopal Church Conference" (Press release). The White House. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Taking License". Snopes. April 8, 2010.
- Gore, D'Angelo (June 14, 2012). "The Obamas' Law Licenses". FactCheck. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
- "Obama named first Associate Dean of Student Services". University of Chicago Chronicle 15 (19). June 6, 1996. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- "Michelle Obama appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals" (Press release). University of Chicago Medical Center. May 9, 2005. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Snow, Kate (January 24, 2008). "Michelle Obama: Mom First, Politics Second". ABC News. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- St. Clair, Stacy (November 8, 2008). "Michelle Obama blazes a new trail". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 20, 2008.
- Keen, Judy (May 12, 2007). "Michelle Obama: Campaigning her way". USA Today. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
- "Board of Directors: Michelle Obama". TreeHouse Foods. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Sweet, Lynn (May 22, 2007). "Sweet Column: Michelle Obama Quits Board of Wal-Mart Supplier". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- "Directors". Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Archived from the original on February 18, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Kantor, Jodi (August 25, 2008). "Michelle Obama, reluctant no more". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
- Swarns, Rachel L.; Kantor, Jodi (March 5, 2009). "Michelle Obama". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
- Langley, Monica (February 11, 2008). "Michelle Obama on Campaign, Family". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
- Zakin, Carly (July 30, 2007). "Michelle Obama plays unique role in campaign". MSNBC. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
- "Michelle Obama: I'm his wife, not adviser". Sioux City Journal. May 22, 2007. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2008.
- Marinucci, Carla; Wildermuth, John; Chronicle Political Writers (February 7, 2008). "Millions of cell calls for Clinton Big effort to contact list of likely backers gave her the state". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
- Kornblut, Anne E. & Murray, Shailagh (December 19, 2007). "'I'm Tired of Politics as Usual'; Oprah Winfrey Makes Her Case for Sen. Obama's Presidential Candidacy". The Washington Post. p. A1.
- Powell, Michael and Jodi Kantor (June 18, 2008). "After Attacks, Michelle Obama Looks for a New Introduction". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- Mann, Jonathan (May 23, 2008). "A First Lady of a different kind". CNN. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- "Transcript: 'FOX News Watch', June 14, 2008". Fox News. June 16, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Dowd, Maureen (June 11, 2008). "Mincing Up Michelle". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- "20 Questions with Michelle Obama". momlogic.com. July 31, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Stanley, Alessandra (June 19, 2008). "Michelle Obama Shows Her Warmer Side on 'The View'". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- Dowd, Maureen (April 25, 2007). "She's Not Buttering Him Up". The New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
- Halperin, Mark (August 2008). "Scorecard: First-Night Speeches: Craig Robinson: Grade: B+". Time. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Nagourney, Adam (August 26, 2008). "Appeals evoking American Dream rally Democrats". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
- Naylor, Brian (August 26, 2008). "Interpreting Michelle Obama's speech". National Public Radio. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
- Pallasch, Abdon M. (August 26, 2008). "Michelle Obama celebrates Chicago roots". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on August 29, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
- Helman, Scott (August 26, 2008). "Reaching back to her Chicago roots, Obama tells an American story". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
- Suellentrop, Chris (August 25, 2008). "Michelle Obama's high note". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
- "Michelle Obama Favorable Rating Reaches Highest Level Ever". Rasmussen Reports. August 29, 2008. Archived from the original on September 12, 2008. Retrieved November 12, 2008.
- Blow, Charles M. (October 9, 2008). "Are We Past The 'Bradley Effect'?". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- Seelye, Katharine Q. (October 9, 2008). "Michelle Obama Dismisses Criticisms". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- "Fox refers to Michelle Obama as 'baby mama': TV graphic read: 'Outraged liberals: Stop picking on Obama's baby mama'". MSNBC. June 12, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- Spillius, Alex (June 13, 2008). "Fox News presenter taken off air after Barack Obama 'terrorist fist jab' remark". The Daily Telegraph (U.K.). Archived from the original on July 19, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- Cloud, John (November 3, 2008). "4. Fist bump". Time. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
- Romano, Lois (March 31, 2009). "Michelle's Image: From Off-Putting To Spot-On". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Alter, Jonathan (March 7, 2009). "An Army Of Changemakers". Newsweek. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
- Swarns, Rachel L. (February 7, 2009). "'Mom in Chief' Touches on Policy; Tongues Wag". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
- "Michelle Obama gets new chief of staff". UPI. June 5, 2009. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "First Lady Michelle Obama". Whitehouse.gov. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- Walsh, Kenneth T. (March 26, 2009). "Michelle Obama Makes Military Families Her Mission: The first lady is often moved by accounts of personal sacrifice by service families". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
- Michelle Cottle (November 13, 2013). "Leaning Out: How Michelle Obama became a feminist nightmare.". Politico. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- "Michelle Obama a 'feminist nightmare'? Please.". MSNBC. November 23, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Howard Kurtz (November 25, 2013). "Flunking Feminism? Why Michelle Obama keeps playing it safe". Fox News. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Matt Wilstein (November 23, 2013). "MSNBC's Harris-Perry Rips POLITICO Writer for Calling Michelle Obama 'Feminist Nightmare'". Mediaite. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Aviva Shen (November 22, 2013). "Michelle Obama Derided For Being A 'Feminist Nightmare'". ThinkProgress.org. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- "First lady Michelle to visit China with daughters". China National News. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- "Bring Back Our Girls: Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai support campaign for return of kidnapped Nigeria schoolgirls". the independent. May 8, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Bedard, Paul (March 28, 2009). "Michelle Obama Goes Organic and Brings in the Bees". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
- Black, Jane (March 20, 2009). "Shovel-Ready Project: A White House Garden". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
- Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (January 14, 2010). "After a Year of Learning, the First Lady Seeks Out a Legacy". The New York Times. p. A20. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- "White House Photo Blog: Wednesday, June 17, 2009: First Garden". Time. June 17, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
- Darensbourg, Lauren (May 27, 2011). "Let's Move!". Letsmove.gov. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- "White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President | Let's Move!". Letsmove.gov. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
- Benac, Nancy (June 1, 2012). "Michelle Obama's Book On Growing Seeds and Healthy Kids". The Ledger. Associated Press.
- Daniel, Lisa. "Family Matters: Tackling Obesity, for Security's Sake." DoD, July 23, 2012.
- "Michelle Obama speaks to gay Democrats". Reuters. June 27, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "The audacity of hope – 'from Selma to Stonewall'". TMP. June 27, 2008. Archived from the original on March 7, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "Michelle Obama Speaks to LGBT Delegates at Convention Lunch". Towleroad. August 27, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "Michelle Obama Welcomes Gay Families to National Military Initiative". Advocate. September 19, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Freedlander, David (March 19, 2012). "Michelle Obama Says Obama Supreme Court Will Allow Future Generations To ‘Love Whomever They Choose’". New York Observer. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- "Jarrett, Michelle Obama pushed for gay marriage". Politico. March 20, 2012. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
- "Michelle Obama Supports Marriage Equality So That 'Everyone Is Equal Under The Law'". Washington Wire. June 1, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "Michelle Obama, Rahm Emanuel Make Gay Marriage a Selling Point at Convention". http://adage.com. September 5, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "Michelle Obama". Biography.com. A&E Network. Archived from the original on March 25, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
- O'Neil, Nicole (April 2009). "First Lady style: Michelle Obama". U.K. MSN. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
- "The Harvard 100". 02138. September 2007.
- "Michelle Obama makes best-dressed list: For the second year in a row, Obama's style puts her on Vanity Fair's list". MSNBC. July 30, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- "Michelle Obama among 10 best dressed women: People magazine". The Economic Times (India). September 18, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- "Michelle Obama, Rihanna Named To People's Best Dressed List". Access Hollywood. September 17, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Samuels, Allison (November 22, 2008). "What Michelle Means to Us: We've never had a First Lady quite like Michelle Obama. How she'll change the world's image of African-American women—and the way we see ourselves.". Newsweek. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
- Fiori, Pamela (February 2009). "She's Got It!". Town & Country. pp. 78–83. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Von Glinow, Kiki (March 9, 2009). "The New Black". Newsweek. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
- Soller, Kurt (February 18, 2009). "Is Michelle Obama Diversifying Model Portfolios? Not So Much". Newsweek. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- Trebay, Guy (February 13, 2009). "Has the 'Obama Effect' Come to Runway Castings?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
- Stone, Daniel (April 3, 2009). "Mixed Review". Newsweek. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Scherer, Michael (April 2, 2009). "Michelle Obama Finds Her Role on the World Stage". Time. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
- Chua-Eoan, Howard (April 1, 2009). "The Queen and Mrs. Obama: A Breach in Protocol". Time. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
- Bailey, Holly (April 2, 2009). "Touch Her ... If You Dare". Newsweek. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
- Bailey, Holly (April 1, 2009). "G-20 Gossip: No Touching, Please". Newsweek. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- Trebay, Guy (June 8, 2008). "She Dresses to Win". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- Springen, Karen and Jonathan Darman (January 29, 2007). "Ground Support: Michelle Obama Has Seemed Ambivalent About Barack's'08 Run. But She's Provided The Entree For Him To Give It A Go.". Newsweek. Retrieved November 16, 2008.
- Horyn, Cathy (December 28, 2012). "First in Fashion". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
- Wilson, Eric (February 27, 2009). "Mrs. Obama in Kors". and "Mrs. Obama's Inaugural Wardrobe by Many Designers". The New York Times. January 21, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
- Serjeant, Jill (February 11, 2009). "Michelle Obama graces cover of Vogue magazine". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
- "Michelle Obama makes Vogue cover". BBC. February 11, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
- Tschorn, Adam (February 11, 2009). "All the Rage: The Image Staff Muses On The Culture of Keeping Up Appearance in Hollywood and Beyond". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
- "Better Homes and Gardens put first woman on its cover | BabyCenter Blog". Blogs.babycenter.com. July 22, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- "Michelle Obama surprises Oscars by presenting Best Picture award". Reuters. February 24, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- Felchner, Morgan E. (November 14, 2008). "For Mom-in-Chief Michelle Obama and Women Everywhere, It's About Choice". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
- Obama, Michelle (October 17, 2008). "Michelle Obama: As Barack's First Lady, I Would Work to Help Working Families and Military Families". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
- Klaidman, Daniel (November 22, 2008). "The Editor's Desk". Newsweek. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
- Erbe, Bonnie (November 13, 2008). "Michelle Obama Is Making Herself a Stay-at-Home Mom, Not the Media". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
- Erbe, Bonnie (November 6, 2008). "Barack and Michelle Obama Sound Tone-Deaf on Women's Issues". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
- Colbert, David (2008). Michelle Obama, An American Story. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0-547-24770-2.
- Lightfoot, Elizabeth (2008). Michelle Obama: First Lady of Hope. The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-59921-521-7.
- Mundy, Liza (2008). Michelle Obama, A Life. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1-4165-9943-6.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michelle Obama.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Michelle Obama|
- First Lady Michelle Obama at Whitehouse.gov
- "About Michelle Obama" at BarackObama.com
- Michelle Obama at DMOZ
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Michelle Obama at the Internet Movie Database
- Michelle Obama at TED
- Works by or about Michelle Obama in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Michelle Obama at the Notable Names Database
- Michelle Obama collected news and commentary at Chicago Tribune
- Michelle Obama collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Michelle Obama collected news and commentary at U.S.News & World Report
- Michelle Obama On Love, Family & Politics, interview with Katie Couric of CBS News, February 15, 2008
|First Lady of the United States
|Honorary Chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities
Serving with Chairwoman Rachel Goslins