Marian Shields Robinson, Mother of Michelle Obama, Passes Away at 86


Marian Shields Robinson, the mother of Michelle Obama, who joined the First Family at the White House when her son-in-law, Barack Obama, became president, has died at the age of 86, The Guardian reports.

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Michelle Obama announced her mother’s death in an online tribute, highlighting Robinson’s role as an informal first grandmother to the Obama children during their time in the White House.

“There was and will be only one Marian Robinson,” the statement read. “In our sadness, we are lifted up by the extraordinary gift of her life.”

A lifelong Chicago resident and widow, Robinson moved to the executive mansion in 2009 to help care for her granddaughters, Malia and Sasha. Initially reluctant to relocate in her early 70s, Robinson was persuaded by Michelle and her brother, Craig.

Robinson reflected on her decision to move in the foreword to her son’s memoir, *A Game of Character*. She acknowledged Michelle’s reasoning, which emphasized the importance of her presence for the granddaughters’ stability.

Although she preferred to visit periodically, she eventually agreed to move temporarily, embracing it as an opportunity to grow and experience something new.

Malia and Sasha, aged 10 and seven at the time, benefited from Robinson’s nurturing presence during their transition to White House life.

Robinson, who retired from her job as a bank secretary, had been a near-surrogate parent to the girls during the 2008 campaign.

At the White House, her lack of Secret Service protection allowed her to discreetly accompany them to and from school, maintaining a sense of normalcy.

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