Michelle Obama

Topics: Michelle Obama, Harvard Law School, Princeton University Pages: 6 (1058 words) Published: September 6, 2014

Lakiesha Easton
The Life of Michelle Obama
Professor Scmitz


I was tasked to research the life story of a well-known public figure - politician or business mogul. The person I chose to write upon is The First Lady Michelle Obama. In this essay I will briefly give insight on her background, how she overcame obstacles, the events that helped shape her and education.

Michelle Obama was born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson on January 17, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois. Michelle was raised on Chicago's South Side in a one-bedroom apartment. Her father, Fraser Robinson, was a city pump operator and a Democratic precinct captain. Her mother, Marian, was a Spiegel's secretary who later stayed home to raise Michelle and her older brother, Craig. The family has been described as a close-knit one that shared family meals, read and played games together. Craig and Michelle, 21 months apart in age, were often mistaken for twins. The siblings also shared close quarters—they slept in the living room with a sheet serving as their makeshift room divider. Both children were raised with an emphasis on education. The brother and sister learned to read at home by the age of 4, and both skipped second grade.

By sixth grade, Michelle was attending gifted classes, where she learned French and took accelerated courses. She then went on to attend the city's first magnet high school for gifted children, where, among other activities, she served as the student government treasurer. "Without being immodest, we were always smart, we were always driven and we were always encouraged to do the best you can do, not just what's necessary," her brother, Craig, has said. "And when it came to going to schools, we all wanted to go to the best schools we could." Michelle graduated in 1981 from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago's West Loop as class salutatorian. After high school, she followed her brother to Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985 with a B.A. in Sociology. She went on to earn a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988, where she took part in demonstrations demanding more minority students and professors.

Overcoming Obstacles
Michelle was discouraged from applying to Princeton by high school advisors who felt her scores weren't adequate. Yet she graduated from the college with honors. She was one of very few black students attending Princeton at the time, and the experience made her acutely aware of the issues of race. When she applied to Harvard Law, she again faced bias as college counselors tried to talk her out of her decision. Despite their doubts, she excelled. Professor David B. Wilkins remembers Michelle as forthright: "She always stated her position clearly and decisively."

Life Changing Events
Several things happened over the course of her life in a year to make her stop and actually think for the first time about what she wanted. She lost her father. She lost one of her good friends to cancer suddenly. She was in her mid-20s when she died. And she thought that -- for the first time she had to think about life and the life that she was building for herself, and she had to ask herself whether, if she died tomorrow, would she want this to be her legacy, working in a corporate firm, working for big companies? And when she asked herself the question, the resounding answer was, absolutely not. This isn't what she wanted to leave behind, this isn't why she went to Princeton and Harvard and this isn't why she was doing what she was doing. She thought she had more to give.

List of Qualities
Not only is Michelle Obama a loving wife and mother, outspoken, strong-willed, funny, gutsy and sometimes sarcastic: She’s not afraid to speak her mind or show her displeasure Michelle believes in being herself even while in the public eye. It is...

References: A+ENetworks. (2013). Michelle Obama. Biography. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/michelle-obama-307592
Lowe, Linda. (February 2009). Profile of Michelle Obama. Women’s Issues. Retrieved from http://womensissues.about.com/od/influentialwomen/p/MichelleObama.htm
Obama, Michelle. (May 2009). Michelle Obama said: “The happiest time in my life was working to build Public Affairs”. Public Allies. Retrieved from http://womensissues.about.com/od/influentialwomen/p/MichelleObama.htm
Tayabali, Rashida. (January 2013). 5 things that makes Michelle Obama an inspiring Leader in Heels. Leaders in Heels. Retrieved from
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