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Fri, 01.17.1964

Michelle Obama, Attorney born

Michele Obama

*Michelle Obama was born on this date in 1964. She is a Black attorney, administrator community advocate.

Born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in Chicago, Illinois, she is the daughter of Fraser Robinson III, a city water plant employee and Democratic precinct captain, and Marian Shields, a secretary at Spiegel's catalog store. She grew up in a two-story house on Euclid Street in Chicago's South Shore. They attended services at nearby South Shore Methodist Church.

She and her brother, Craig skipped the second grade. By sixth grade, Robinson joined a gifted class at Bryn Mawr Elementary School (later renamed Bouchet Academy). She attended Whitney Young High School, where she was a classmate of Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita. She was on the honor roll for four years, took advanced placement classes, a member of the National Honor Society and served as student council treasurer. Robinson graduated in 1981 as the salutatorian of her class.

She followed her brother to Princeton University. 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 and graduated 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 Hillary Rodham Clinton and Laura Bush. Following law school, she was an associate at the Chicago office of the law firm Sidley Austin, where she first met her future husband Barack Obama.

At the firm, she worked on marketing and intellectual property. 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. The couple's first date was to the Spike Lee movie Do the Right Thing. They married in October 1992. 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. 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. Obama had her first daughter, Malia Ann in 1998 and Natasha (known as Sasha in 2001.

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 Presidential election. She serves on the board of directors of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. In 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.

Promoting Service and working with young people has remained a staple of her career and her interest. In 2010 as First Lady, Obama launched Let’s Move a campaign to bring together community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses, moms and dads in a nationwide effort to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity.   In 2011, Obama and Dr. Jill Biden together launched Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative that mobilizes all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned, and to raise awareness of military families' unique needs as pertains to employment, education and wellness. Joining Forces has been working hand in hand with American businesses who are committed to answering the President's challenge to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans and military spouses by 2013.

Since leaving the White House, Obama has authored a book and remained active around the world.

To Become a Lawyer


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