#TJFWHM18: First Lady Michelle Obama Makes U.S. History

We kick off Women’s History Month by honoring not only a first for African-Americans, but a first in U.S. history.

First Lady Michelle Obama

  • First African-American First Lady of the U.S.
  • Attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985 with a B.A. in Sociology.
  • Studied law at Harvard Law School
  • Worked as an assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley
  • Was executive director for the Chicago office of Public Allies in 1993
  • Was associate dean of student services at the University of Chicago as associate dean of student services, developing the school’s first community-service program in 1996
  • Worked for the University of Chicago Hospitals, as executive director of community relations and external affairs in 2002
  • Was appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago in 2005

Michelle Obama was born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois. She was raised on Chicago’s South Side by her father, Fraser Robinson, a city-pump operator and a Democratic precinct captain; and her mother, Marian, a secretary at Spiegel’s who left her job to stay home to raise Michelle and her older brother, Craig.

Michelle attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, Chicago’s first magnet high school for gifted children. In 1981, Michelle graduated from the school as class salutatorian.

Michelle, like her older brother, attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985 with a B.A. in Sociology. She went on to study law at Harvard Law School and was awarded her J.D. in 1988.

It was in 1989 at the Chicago branch of the firm Sidley Austin, that Michelle met her future husband, Barack Obama, a summer intern to whom she was assigned as an adviser.

After two years of dating, Barack proposed, and the couple married at Trinity United Church of Christ on October 3, 1992. Their daughters, Malia and Sasha, were born in 1998 and 2001, respectively.

 

Hats off to the first African-American First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Director of Digital Strategy for the Tom Joyner Foundation, a writer and editor.

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