First Lady Michelle Obama's Birthday

Happy Birthday Michelle
ESSENCE.COM Jan, 14, 2009

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Our new First Lady Michelle Obama has always been an agent of change. Born on January 17, 1964, she once served as the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps organization geared toward molding young people with the skills for public service.

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Michelle LaVaughn Robinson grew up as a notably gifted student. She graduated from Whitney Young High School in Chicago, where she was on honor roll for four years and served on the National Honor Society board.

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Michelle graduated in 1985 from Princeton University, where she studied sociology and African-American studies. Her final thesis was entitled “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.”

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

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4 of 21 Obama For America/Handout/Reuters

The beautiful bride tied the knot with President-elect Barack Obama on October 18, 1992, joined by both of their mothers, family and friends.

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A blushing Michelle holds Barack in a photo taken during the holidays. Interestingly enough, the couple waited almost seven years before deciding to have their first child.

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After law school, Michelle landed a job at Sidley & Austin, a distinguished law firm in Chicago in 1988. A year later she was asked to mentor a summer associate from Harvard named Barack Obama.

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Lovable little cuties Malia and Sasha share some one-on-one time with their mother. The girls will be the youngest children in the White House since former President Jimmy Carter’s daughter Amy.

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Michelle was raised by both of her parents in a one-bedroom apartment on Chicago’s Southside. Sadly, her father died in 1990, but her mother, Marian Robinson, remains one of her strongest supporters and will join the First Family in the White House.

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Michelle makes a point to take the girls with her every Sunday to church services. She credits having a routine and a to-do list with creating balance as a mother, attorney and wife of a politician.

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The powerhouse beauty became a pro at multitasking while campaigning for her husband. Here she shares a laugh with late-night host Jay Leno on his show.

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Growing up, Michelle and her brother, Craig Robinson, shared a makeshift “bedroom.” It was actually the living room with a divider down the middle.

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The graceful Mrs. Obama sported this jewel-encrusted necklace at an Obama fundraising dinner held at Calvin Klein’s New York home last June. Michelle has become a fashion icon for many American women who prefer bargains over couture.

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In 1996, Michelle worked as the associate dean of student services at the University of Chicago.

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The Harvard grad humbly takes the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where she gave a headline-making speech.

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In deep thought, President-elect Obama shares a hug with his sweetheart, while visiting his roots in Kenya.

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Michelle leads the way and women across the country follow. While on “The View” the future First Lady wore a Donna Ricco empire-waist floral sundress from White House/Black Market this summer and the next day the dress flew off the racks.

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In 2002, a hardworking Michelle became executive director for community affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals.

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Michelle has had a major influence in her husband’s career. When he first ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, it was Michelle who introduced him to her former boss and mentor, Valerie Jarrett. Jarrett is now a senior adviser to the President-elect.

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Even though she didn’t pledge while attending Princeton or Harvard, Michelle was invited in July 2008 to become an honorary member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

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A strong sense of giving back to the community was instilled into Michelle and her brother by their parents early on. She’s been very committed to the Southside of Chicago, where she grew up and has never forgotten her roots.

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Capricorns are known commonly for being ambitious, disciplined, responsible and career-oriented. Sounds just like America’s new First Lady. Congratulations on another wonderful year. Leave your happy birthday message for Michelle below.

By Jenisha Watts

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