Politics

Michelle Obama: Becoming FLOTUS

Updated 7:24 AM ET, Sun October 4, 2020
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Take a look back at former first lady Michelle Obama's journey to the East Wing and beyond. For more, watch CNN Original Series "First Ladies" Sundays at 10 p.m. ET. Kristoffer Tripplaar/Getty
Obama was born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in Chicago. Here, she is seen as a baby with her father, Fraser Robinson III; her mother, Marian; and her brother, Craig, in 1964. Courtesy of the Barack Obama Campaign
Obama attended Bryn Mawr Elementary School in Chicago from 1970-1977. Courtesy of Obama for America
Obama's 1980 yearbook photo from Whitney Young High School in Chicago. The magnet school was far from her home on the south side of the city, and her round-trip commute was three hours. Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library
"I was a pretty serious student," Obama said in a 2014 interview. "One of the things I wanted to make sure was that I didn't peak in high school. ... So I focused on school. I was really clear that I wanted to go to college. So I needed to have myself together, go to my classes, be on point, be involved in the school." Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library
Obama, seen here in her 1981 yearbook photo, was salutatorian of her high school's senior class. Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library
Obama attends prom in 1982 with her first boyfriend, David Upchurch. Splash News
Obama graduated from Princeton University in 1985. She received a bachelor's degree in sociology and minored in African-American studies. Courtesy of Obama for America
She met Barack Obama when she was assigned to be his mentor at Sidley & Austin, a Chicago law firm. Here, the two pose for a photo in Hawaii in 1989. Courtesy of Obama for America
The couple married on October 3, 1992. Courtesy of Obama for America
The Obamas have dinner in 2000 with their first child, Malia. Malia was born on July 4, 1998. Courtesy of Obama for America
The Obamas are seen in March 2000, when Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, was running for the US House of Representatives. He lost the Democratic primary to four-term incumbent Bobby Rush. Scott Stewart/Chicago Sun Times/AP
The Obamas are seen with daughters Malia and Sasha at Sasha's christening. Sasha was born on June 7, 2001. Courtesy of Obama for America
The Obamas check in with poll workers in Chicago in November 2004. Barack Obama would go on to win a US Senate seat. Nam Y. Huh/AP
The Obamas celebrate during a victory party in Chicago on November 2, 2004. E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/MC/Getty
Barack Obama gives his wife a playful kiss as they tour the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, in August 2007. Obama was campaigning at the time for the Democratic presidential nomination. Scott Olson/Getty
Michelle Obama has breakfast at Pamela's Diner in Pittsburgh in April 2008. Scott Olson/Getty
Michelle Obama speaks during the Democratic National Convention on August 25, 2008. Jae C. Hong/AP
During his inauguration ceremony in Washington, Barack Obama takes the oath of office as his wife holds the Lincoln Bible. Chuck Kennedy/Pool/AP
Obama's Jason Wu inaugural ball gown helped put both them both on fashion "it" lists in 2009. Saul Loeb/getty images
The first lady meets with former South African President Nelson Mandela in June 2011. Debbie Yazbek/Getty
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visit with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace ahead of a State Banquet on May 24, 2011 in London, England. Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The first lady exits a Target department store in Alexandria, Virginia, after doing some shopping in September 2011. Charles Dharapak/AP
Obama kisses her husband during an inauguration reception at the National Building Museum in Washington in January 2013. Brendan Smialowski/Getty
Obama, via satellite, announces the Oscar for best picture at the end of the Academy Awards show in February 2013. Robyn Beck/Getty
Obama dances with Jimmy Fallon on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" in 2013. Lloyd Bishop/NBC/Getty
Obama plants the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House in April 2013. To help her, she invited students from schools "that have made exceptional improvements to school lunches." It was part of the first lady's "Let's Move" campaign, which she launched in 2010 to reduce childhood obesity. Win McNamee/Getty
The first lady rides a bike while vacationing in 2013 in Martha's Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. Rick Friedman/Pool/Getty
Obama dances alongside "Sesame Street" character Rosita at the White House in October 2013 as part of the first lady's "Let's Move" initiative. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty
Obama listens as her husband speaks to members of the US military and their families at a 2013 Christmas Day meal in Kaneohe, Hawaii. Kent Nishimura/Pool//Landov
Obama reacts as Ashtyn Gardner, a 2-year-old from Mobile, Alabama, loses her balance while greeting Sunny, one of the Obamas' dogs, at a White House event in December 2014. Charles Dharapak/AP
The Obama family, including daughters Malia (left) and Sasha (right), pose for a portrait with their pets Bo and Sunny in the Rose Garden on April 5, 2015. Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images
Obama waves to the crowd before giving a speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, during which she says one of her most famous quotes: "Our motto is, when they go low, we go high." Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Obama arrives on stage alongside President Obama during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Phoenix Awards Dinner on September 17, 2016. CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Obama poses with dogs Bo and Sunny as the family prepares to depart the White House in January 2017. In an accompanying tweet, she writes: "Thank you for the birthday wishes and for the greatest gift of all: the opportunity to serve as your First Lady." From Twitter
The Obamas welcome a newly elected Donald Trump and wife Melania to the White House in January 2017. JIM WATSON/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Visitors encounter Amy Sherald's official portrait of Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery in 2018. Paul Morigi
Obama laughs while signing copies of her memoir "Becoming" in November 2018. She'd go on to win a best spoken word album Grammy for the audio version of her best-selling book. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
A viewer watches the former first lady speak during the 2020 Democratic National Convention, which was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Obama shares a hug with a fan in her 2020 Netflix documentary "Becoming," just one of the media projects she's been involved with this year. The Obamas signed a multi-year production deal with the streaming company in 2018, and in July 2020 the former first lady launched a podcast. Courtesy of Netflix