In sad news, Marian Robinson, mother of former First Lady Michelle Obama and mother-in-law of former President Barack Obama, has died at the age of 86, the Obama family announced on Friday. 


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“My mom Marian Robinson was my rock, always there for whatever I needed,” said Michelle Obama in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “She was the same steady backstop for our entire family, and we are heartbroken to share she passed away today.”

The Obamas, a beloved American first family, shared a tribute to Robinson’s character and life on Barack Obama’s Medium account, stating, “Her wisdom came off as almost innate, as something she was born with, but in reality it was hard-earned, fashioned by her deep understanding that the world’s roughest edges could always be sanded down with a little grace.”

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Robinson’s journey was storied, from growing up in a heavily segregated South Side of Chicago to becoming a constant presence in the White House, which was detailed in the tribute. She raised her children, Michelle and Craig, with her husband, Fraser Robinson. The family recounted her support when Michelle married Barack Obama, “a guy crazy enough to go into politics,” and how she held his hand when he became the first Black president in 2008.

At the White House, Robinson helped care for her grandchildren, Malia and Sasha, and asked to meet the Pope. Afterward, she returned to Chicago, enjoying family activities and instilling confidence and self-worth in her children and grandchildren. 

The family wrote, “From infancy through adulthood, she stood secondary watch over her grandchildren’s growth and development, inspiring them, listening to them, telling them she was proud of them, making them feel loved, like they were remarkable in every way.”

Craig Robinson, his wife Kelly, and their children also signed the heartfelt tribute. The family expressed comfort in knowing that Marian has reunited with her husband Fraser, who passed away in 1991, saying, “She’s pulled up her TV tray next to his recliner, that they’re clinking their highball glasses as she’s catching him up with the stories about this wild, beautiful ride. She’s missed him so.”