Michelle’s Life

Photo: Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine

January 17, 1964
Born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson to Fraser and Marian Robinson in Chicago.

Goes to prom with David Upchurch, now a customer-service rep in Colorado.

Graduates from Princeton. “My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘Blackness’ than ever before,” she wrote in her senior thesis.

Graduates from Harvard Law. Begins work as an associate in the marketing and intellectual-property group at Sidley Austin. Complains to supervisors that her work is not interesting enough.

Assigned to mentor Barack Obama, a summer associate at Sidley Austin.

» The Meaning of an Icon» Her Body, Ourselves» Her Old-school Parenting» Her Father’s Daughter More Essays Why We Crave a Royal MichelleGood White House KeepingThe First Couple’s Sexual PoliticsFrom ‘Militant’ to ‘Princess’Extending the Obama BrandNormalizing the PresidentAbout FaceThe First Wives’ ClubLittle SisterThe Fashion QuestionThe Edible & PoliticalThat’s One Tall WomanWhy She Left Her Law FirmThe Suggestions in Her EyesMichelle: A LifeArtists’ Interpretations

July 1991
Michelle leaves the law firm. “[I thought] if I died in four months, is this how I would have wanted to spend this time?” Goes to work for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

March 1991
Father dies at the age of 56, of complications related to multiple sclerosis.

October 18, 1992
Weds Barack Obama at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. The Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. officiates.

July 4, 1998
Gives birth to Malia Ann.

November 7, 2000
Barack loses his U.S. congressional bid. Michelle claims the only thing she enjoyed about campaigning was picking up a few decorating ideas in other people’s living rooms.

June 10, 2001
Gives birth to Natasha (Sasha).

Named director of community affairs at University of Chicago Hospitals.

November 2, 2004
Barack is elected U.S. senator for Illinois.

February 18, 2008
Tells crowd in Milwaukee: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.”

February 25, 2008
Appears on the cover of Newsweek. “Somehow I’ve been caricatured as this emasculating wife … Do you think anyone could emasculate Barack Obama? Really now.”

June 2, 2008
Time magazine cover line: “Will Michelle Obama hurt Barack in November?”

June 11, 2008
Fox News on Michelle: “Obama’s Baby Mama.”

August 25, 2008
Addresses Democratic National Convention in Denver. “The first evening was in danger of becoming an entirely lost opportunity. But Michelle rescued it,” says David Gergen on CNN.

March 2009
Appears on the cover of Vogue: “If I can have any impact, I want women to feel good about themselves and have fun with fashion.”

Michelle’s Life