Michelle Obama biography and books

Michelle Obama - toolshero

Michelle Obama (Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, born on 17 January 1964) is a lawyer, writer, and former first lady of the United States from 2007-2017. Michelle Obama is the wife of former president Barack Obama.

Michelle Obama biography

Michelle Obama as a child

Michelle Obama grew up in a middle-class and hard-working family in the former segregated South Chicago. She grew up with her parents and her brother Craig. Her father, Fraser, suffered from brain disease multiple sclerosis. Still, he always made sure that their mother, Marian could raise Michelle and Craig.

Marian educated her children from a young age. By the age of 4, both Michelle Obama and Craig could already read. Michelle Obama has always accelerated in school. Like her brother Craig, Michelle Obama has skipped second grade at Bryn Mawr Elementary School, a kindergarten that serves students until the fifth grade.

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In her sixth grade, Michelle was chosen to participate in gifted education. Gifted education is also referred to as gifted and talented education (GATE) and covers special practices, procedures, and theories in education provided to talented students in specific areas. This type of education enabled Michelle Obama to take additional French and biology courses at a local community college.

Her efforts were recognized and enabled her to attend the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. For the first time, she experienced an educational environment where diversity was included. From her perspective, she could learn from people who had different life experiences, and therefore, they also share other views and opinions.

To succeed at With M. Young Magnet High School, Michelle Obama left her home each morning at 6 AM to get the bus for an hour’s journey. She additionally became a student council treasurer and a member of the National Honor Society. In 1981, she graduated salutatorian, which is an academic title given to the second highest-ranked graduate of a graduating class of a specific discipline.

Michelle Obama was dedicated to improve her knowledge and reach her full potential. She attended Princeton University, where she studied sociology with the focus on African-American studies. Michelle was also many times involved in extracurricular activities during her studies.

At Princeton, she joined the Third World Center, which is currently referred to as the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding. The center’s goal was to provide a centralized area in which focus was given to evaluate the political, cultural, and social movements of minority groups in the United States.

Michelle Obama additionally provided guidance to other students, she helped with running a daycare, and she created a reading program for the children of the school’s employees. In 1985, Michelle graduated cum laude with her research on exploring the connection between the university’s alumni and their communities.

After Princeton, Mrs. Obama went to Harvard Law School. During this education, she as well provided back to the community by working for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where she helped low-income people with housing-related issues. The bureau expects members to devote at least 20 hours per week of clinical practice and related activities where students work under clinical instructors’ supervision. Hence, Michelle Obama worked hard during her time at Harvard Law School, where she graduated and obtained her Juris Doctor in 1988.

Michelle Obama started her professional career at Sidley Austin, formerly Sidley, today’s sixth-largest U.S. corporate law firm. She was employed as an Associate Attorney focusing on marketing and intellectual property. During this time, she first met Barack Obama, who she had to mentor for a summer internship.

Barack was impressed by how good-looking Michelle was and asked her out several times. Michelle acted professionally and rejected his offer various times until he offered to quit his job. They married within two years on 3 October 1992.

In 1991, just before their marriage, Michelle Obama decided to continue and advance her career in public service. It was part of her strategy to assist Barack’s career. This decision made Mrs. Obama to working as an assistant to Mayor Richard Daley, a Chicago mayor from 1955 to 1976. She worked for the mayor for approximately one year.

She next became the executive director for the Chicago brand of Public Allies, a social justice organization that seeks to finds and train young leaders with a passion for social impact by connecting them to issues and causes that ignite their passion. Michelle held this position until 1996, when she decided to work as an Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago. Her goal was to connect the campus with the community. Michelle Obama created and implemented the University of Chicago’s first community service program as a result.

In 2002, Michelle’s dedication to accomplishing her goal became visible rapidly as she quickly became the Executive Director of Community Relations and External Affairs at the University of Chicago hospitals. Within a few years, in 2005, Michelle Obama climbed up to Vice President of Community Relations and External Affairs. She was now responsible for the hospital’s diversity program and all initiatives concerning the relationship between the hospitals and the community.

Both Michelle and Barack were hard-working individuals who frequently had to deal with the hard work and responsibilities that came with their jobs. However, as of 2007, Michelle decided to help Barack Obama with his campaign when he was running for president. For this reason, Mrs. Obama performed her job part-time as she took unpaid leave to assist Barack.

As of 2009, Michelle Obama became the First Lady of the United States. She quickly launched several campaigns to improve the well-being of the public. For instance, in 2010, Michelle Obama launched ‘Let’s Move!,’ which is an initiative that attempts to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation. She also found ‘Joining Forces,’ an initiative that supports military families to ensure smooth transitioning of service members to the labor market.

Furthermore, Michelle was involved in helping children reach their full potential with other campaigns such as ‘Reach Higher’ and ‘Let Girls Learn’. Reach Higher was launched in 2014, in which Michelle Obama attempted to inspire all students in the United States to take ownership of their future by participating in any educational program after high school that opens new job opportunities. With Let Girls Learn, Mrs. Obama tried to help adolescent girls without education to attain an education that can help shape their future.

Michelle has additionally put a lot of work into improving diversity. She was involved with enhancing the public’s health and has a great interest in creating a better future for the following generations.

Michelle Obama was at the same time, and still is, a hard-working mother to her children. Malia Ann was born in 1998, and Natasha (Sasha) was born in 2001. Both currently study at University.

Michelle enjoys the quality times that she has with her children, husband, and other relatives. They have very close relationships with their relatives, and all enjoy the trips they spend together, as for example, to Hawaii, where they meet Barack’s family. Michelle Obama and her family currently live in Washington.

Education of Michelle Obama

At home, Michelle Obama was taught at a young age that education is the key to success. Her grandfather always said it was her duty to study and create her destiny. Michelle can tell from her experience that education made her become what she today is.

As her mother provided books and some education to Michelle before going to the first grade, she was comfortable to go along with the teachers. Her mother and other relatives, such as her grandfather, always told her children that they could become whatever they want as long as they work for it.

At school, she was provided with guidance from her teachers and family members to enhance her personal growth and identify interests. As she went to Whitney Young Magnet School, Michelle Obama improved her academic capabilities, and she was confident that she could next pursue her educational progression at top-rated universities.

Michelle Obama was raised with values such as quiet strength and dignity, and her whole family taught her that with faith and commitment, she could achieve whatever she wants to accomplish. Hence, the academic progression that Michelle experienced is a reflection of what she has been taught. She successfully obtained her degree in sociology from Princeton University, and she quickly obtained her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Since Michelle Obama has personal experience of education’s potential benefits, she is actively involved in educational initiatives.

Famous books

The development path of Michelle Obama has become inspirational for many people around the world. She grew up in South Side Chicago, but she managed to become the first lady of the United States with hard work. Nothing has come easily for Michelle, but she kept strong, which consequently allowed her to give back to the public. Her speeches, interviews, and involvement in advocating poverty, education, and health have all added to her popularity.

During the United States Presidential elections in 2008, Michelle Obama has given the public insights into what type of role she would play in the office if Barack Obama was to become president. The book ‘Michelle Obama in her Own Words’ illustrates her norms and values by evaluating many quotes she has provided in her career as a lawyer, in the Chicago’s mayor office, and the quotes she has given during the election.

After completing her role as the first lady, Michelle Obama wrote the Ney York Times bestseller ‘Becoming,’ translated in 24 languages. In this book, she describes her experiences that have shaped who she is today. The book is written in her own words, which gives it a personal touch. Michelle explains her childhood, college and university, motherhood, challenges, and disappointments. After approximately two weeks since its publication in 2018, more than ten million copies were sold.

Michelle Obama Net Worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Michelle Obama has an estimated net worth of $70 million.

Michelle Obama quotes

  1. “Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”
  2. “There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.”
  3. “America is just downright mean.”
  4. “And let’s be clear: It’s not enough just to limit ads for foods that aren’t healthy. It’s also going to be critical to increase marketing for foods that are healthy.”
  5. “Through my education, I didn’t just develop skills, I didn’t just develop the ability to learn, but I developed confidence.”
  6. “Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar, all right?”
  7. “You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”
  8. “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”
  9. “Choose people who lift you up.”
  10. “With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models.”
  11. “I am coming down from the mountaintop to tell every young person that is poor and working class, and has been told regardless of the color of your skin that you don’t belong, don’t listen to them. They don’t even know how they got at those seats.”
  12. “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”
  13. “At fifty-four, I am still in progress, and I hope that I always will be.”
  14. “If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn’t be here. I guarantee you that.”
  15. “When I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.”
  16. “Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.”

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Publications and Books

  • 2018. Becoming. Crown Publishing Group (NY).
  • 2015. Remarks by the First Lady at Opening of the Whitney Museum. Opening Remarks, Whitney Museum Opening Ceremony, New York, April, 30.
  • 2015. Michelle Obama. America’s First Ladies: A Historical Encyclopedia and Primary Document Collection of the Remarkable Women of the White House: A Historical Encyclopedia and Primary Document Collection of the Remarkable Women of the White House, 372.
  • 2014. The campaign for junk food. New York Times, 28.
  • 2014. Remarks of the President and First Lady at the College Opportunity Summit. Office of the White House Press Secretary, January, 16.
  • 2013. The Obama MO. Wall Street Journal, 17.
  • 2012. Let’s keep moving!. Phi Delta Kappan, 93(7), 8-9.
  • 2012. American grown: The story of the White House kitchen garden and gardens across America. Crown Books
  • 2011. How the military boosts the bottom line. US News Weekly, 19.
  • 2010. Michelle on a mission. Newsweek, 40-41.
  • 2010. First Lady Michelle Obama launches Let’s Move: America’s move to raise a healthier generation of kids. The White House.
  • 2010. A food bill we need. The Washington Post, 2.
  • 2009. A Mother’s Love. Essence, 109.
  • 2008. Michelle Obama: As Barack’s First Lady, I Would Work to Help Working Families and Military Families. US News, 1.
  • 1985. Princeton educated Blacks and the Black community. Senior Thesis Princeton University.
  • 1983. Nutritional status and anthracycline cardiotoxicity in children. Southern Medical Journal, 76(5), 577-578

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Zeeman, A. (2020). Michelle Obama. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero: https://www.toolshero.com/toolsheroes/michelle-obama/

Published on: 12/09/2020 | Last update: 03/28/2023

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Alexander Zeeman
Article by:

Alexander Zeeman

Alexander Zeeman is Content Manager at ToolsHero where he focuses on Content production, Content management and marketing. He is also an International Business student at Rotterdam Business school. Currently, in his study, working on the development of various management competencies and improving operational business processes.


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