Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT C:YOUNG ADULT Non-Fiction

Born: 1964 in Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Michelle Robinson Obama was born and raised in Chicago. She attended Whitney Young High School, Chicago's first magnet high school. Following law school, Michelle worked as an associate in the Chicago branch of the law firm Sidley Austin in the area of marketing and intellectual property. After a few years, she left her job to launch a career in public service, serving as an assistant to Mayor Daley and then as the assistant commissioner of planning and development for the City of Chicago. In 1993, she became Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a non-profit leadership-training program that helped young adults develop skills for future careers in the public sector. Michelle joined the University of Chicago in 1996 as associate dean of student services, developing the University’s first community service program. She then worked for the University of Chicago Hospitals beginning in 2002, as executive director of community relations and external affairs. In May 2005, she was appointed vice president of community relations and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She also managed the business diversity program and sat on six boards, including the prestigious Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. She also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service.

Biographical and Professional Information

Michelle Obama is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama - the 44th President of the United States.

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