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Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, dies at 86

  • May 31, 2024
  • 5 Min
  • 5

Marian Robinson, the mother of former First Lady Michelle Obama, has died at the age of 86, her family announced. In a statement, the Obamas said Robinson died “peacefully” Friday morning..

Robinson was a well-known figure in the White House during the eight years of Barack Obama’s administration, between 2009 and 2017.

She spent much of that time caring for her two granddaughters, Malia and Sasha, the daughters of Michelle and Barack Obama.

In a statement posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Mr. Obama said that “there was and will be only one Marian Robinson.”

“In our sadness, we are comforted by the extraordinary gift of his life,” he added. “And we will spend the rest of our lives trying to live by his example.” No further details were given regarding the cause of death.

Robinson grew up one of seven children in Chicago, the city where she spent much of her life before agreeing to come to Washington DC after Mr Obama’s election victory.

Early in her life, she studied to become a teacher before working as a secretary. She raised Michelle and her other child, Craig, with her husband Frasier Robinson on Chicago’s South Side.

“At every step, as our families traveled paths no one could have predicted, she remained our refuge from the storm,” the Obamas’ statement said.

“On election night in 2008, when the news broke that Barack would soon carry the weight of the world, she was there, holding his hand.”

An image taken the night in 2008 when his son-in-law made history by becoming the nation’s first African-American president showed Robinson sitting on a couch with him, watching the results come in.

The statement added that Robinson agreed to move to the White House after a “little prodding” from Barack and Michelle Obama who, along with their daughters, “needed her.”

It was said that she insisted on doing her own laundry there.

In a subsequent interview with CBS, the BBC’s US partner, Robinson said she felt compelled to move to Washington because she felt “it was going to be a very difficult life” for her daughter and son-in-law.

“And I was worried about their safety,” she added. “I was worried about my grandchildren. That’s what pushed me to move to DC.” Robinson, whom Mr. Obama once called “the least pretentious person” he knew, said it had been a “huge adjustment” to have his needs taken care of by White House staff.

With BBC World

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Gazette Haiti