Michelle Obama's Parents Marian Robinson and Fraser Robinson III — What We Know about Them

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has a story to tell that's quite unlike the women who came before her. The most important part is perhaps her parents, who raised her to become the woman she is today. 

Michelle Obama, the wife of former President Barack Obama, is lucky in that her ancestry can be traced back for a few years. Unfortunately, her history is not such a bright one. 

Like most African Americans, Michelle's origins lie in slavery. In her book "American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama," Rachel Swarns describes what happened. 

Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama at the State Dinner on the North Portico of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images

Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama at the State Dinner on the North Portico of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images


As a child — and a slave — Michelle Obama's great-great-great-grandmother Melvinia birthed a son just before the end of the Civil War and freedom for slaves. 

She had other children, all of whom were hard to track due to the times, her illiteracy, and the move Melvinia made all the way to Georgia. One of those children would see their descendants enter the white house. 


Michelle Obama's father was named Fraser Robinson III. Born in Chicago, he and his wife Marian Robinson are also parents to Michelle's brother, Craig Robinson. 

Fraser was a hard worker who did all he could to provide for his family — even when he couldn't walk on his own due to having multiple sclerosis. The condition progressed over time. 

At first, Fraser made do with just one cane to get around. By the time Michelle left elementary school, her dad was using two canes. In all that time, he worked resiliently at a Chicago water filtration plant.

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It’s after Labor Day, so I’m thinking about all the young people heading back to school and reflecting on my own days as a student in Chicago. I learned a lot in school—how to do my multiplication tables and structure a paragraph, yes, but also how to push myself, be a good friend, and dust myself off after a failure. It’s so easy for us to take our education for granted, especially here in the United States. Right now, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. I believe every girl on the planet deserves the same kind of opportunities that I’ve had—a chance to fulfill her potential and pursue her dreams. We know that when we give girls a chance to learn, they’ll seize it. And when they do, our whole world benefits. Girls who go to school have healthier children, higher salaries, lower poverty rates, and they can even help boost their entire nation’s economy. So today on #WorldCharityDay, I want you to share your favorite #BackToSchool photo and to join the @girlsopportunityalliance to take action for global girls’ education. Visit the link in my bio to learn more—because the future of our world is only as bright as our girls.

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In her book, "Becoming," Michelle wrote about the lessons she learned from her father who taught her "to work hard, laugh often, and keep my word." She also noted that her dad never showed regret or self-pity.

Sadly, Fraser passed away at just 55 years old due to complications from multiple sclerosis. "He is the hole in my heart. His loss is my scar," Michelle said in a speech to Chicago high school graduates.


Michelle's mom is still alive, though, and has seen her child reach the peak of female leadership in the country as well as accompanied her in the White House. 

Before leaving to go to Washington, D.C., Marian was comfortable at her home in Chicago. She had never lived anywhere else. However, she was concerned for her daughter and her grandkids. 

"I felt like this was going to be a very hard life for both of them," the 82-year-old said in 2018. Michelle was happy that her mother was there to care for her daughters while she was out being the First Lady. 


The role of First Lady was one Marian prepared her for. Michelle once told People that, "when it came to raising her kids, my mom knew that her voice was less important than allowing me to use my own." 

She went onto credit both parents with instilling in her a deep sense of knowing right from wrong and emanating "goodness and honesty." Plus, they let their children be themselves. 

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After several weeks of physical distancing, it’s so important that we continue to regularly check in with the people we care about—our friends, neighbors, grandparents, and anyone we know who might be sheltering in place on their own right now. A simple text or quick call can go a long way in letting someone know they aren’t in this alone. And the benefit goes both ways. For me, the simple act of reaching out to my loved ones, especially to my Mom, never fails to lift my spirits. If you’re not sure how to start,@ChicagosMayor Lori Lightfoot has been sharing some helpful tips for making well-being calls part of your routine. Little things like scheduling your call for the same time every week and making sure to have conversations about the latest safety guidance can help keep all of us healthy and connected. We're all in this together—and we’ll get through it together too. 💪🏾#StayAtHome

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Michelle is still close to her mom, although they no longer live in the same house. During the quarantine period amid the coronavirus pandemic, she shared a photo of her and Marian along with a message for others. 

The 56-year-old reminded her followers to keep in touch with their loved ones now that they have extra time on their hands and a shared challenge to get through. 

The mother-daughter duo looked lovely in a grayscale photo, which showed both smiling brightly and wearing sweaters. Indeed, Michelle's parents are beautiful, just like her. 

ⓘ We at AmoMama do our best to give you the most updated news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, but the situation is constantly changing. We encourage readers to refer to the online updates from CDС, WHO, or Local Health Departments to stay updated. Take care!

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