About this Famous Person
Wife of the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States
Source : Tim DOWLING
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Fraser Robinson III, a city water plant employee and Democratic precinct captain, and Marian (née Shields), a secretary at Spiegel's catalog store. Her mother was a full-time homemaker until Michelle entered high school. The Robinson and Shields families can trace their roots to pre-Civil War African Americans in the American South. Specifically, she is descended from the Gullah people of South Carolina's Lowcountry region. Her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was an American slave on Friendfield Plantation in the state of South Carolina, where some of her paternal family still reside. Her maternal great-great-great-grandmother, Melvinia Shields, also a slave, became pregnant by a white man. His name and the nature of their union have been lost. She gave birth to Michelle's biracial maternal great-great-grandfather, Dolphus T. Shields. Some of her distant ancestry also includes Irish and other European roots. In addition, her cousin is the Jewish Rabbi Capers Funnye.
Michelle grew up in a two-story house on Euclid Street in Chicago's South Shore community area. Her parents rented a small apartment on the house's second floor from her great-aunt, who lived downstairs. She was raised in what she describes as a "conventional" home, with "the mother at home, the father works, you have dinner around the table". The family entertained together by playing games such as Monopoly and by reading. They attended services at nearby South Shore Methodist Church. The Robinsons used to vacation in a rustic cabin in White Cloud, Michigan. She and her 21-month older brother, Craig, skipped the second grade. Her brother is now the men's basketball coach at Oregon State University. By sixth grade, Michelle joined a gifted class at Bryn Mawr Elementary School (later renamed Bouchet Academy).