International News

Michelle Obama’s Mother, Marian Robinson, Dies at 86

Washington: Marian Robinson, the mother of former US First Lady Michelle Obama, passed away on Friday at the age of 86, the Obama and Robinson families announced. Known affectionately as the “first grandma,” Robinson was a crucial figure in the upbringing of her granddaughters, Malia and Sasha Obama, particularly during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The family shared that Robinson moved to the White House at Michelle and Barack’s request, providing essential support and stability. “We needed her. The girls needed her. And she ended up being our rock through it all,” the family statement said, noting that she died “peacefully” on Friday morning.

Born in 1937 on Chicago’s South Side, Robinson was one of seven siblings. She experienced significant racial challenges, including her father’s exclusion from unions and larger construction firms due to his race. Despite these hardships, her daughter and son-in-law achieved the historic milestone of the White House when Barack Obama became the first Black U.S. president.

Robinson never fully embraced the glamor of the White House. Preferring a quieter life, she often spent time upstairs with a TV tray, enjoying the view of the Washington Monument from her room. She forged close friendships with the staff, including ushers and butlers, who contributed to making the White House a home.

Married in 1960, Robinson had two children, including Michelle Obama. She worked as a teacher and secretary, according to the family. During her White House years, she would discreetly leave the premises to shop for greeting cards at nearby stores. When recognized by other shoppers, she would modestly respond, “Oh, I get that a lot,” with a smile.

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