Michelle Obama Pays Heartfelt Tribute After Her Mother Marian Robinson Dies at 86

Michelle Obama with her daughters and her mother Marian Anderson, in a photo shared by former President Barack Obama to Instagram on May 14, 2023. (Credit: Instagram)

Marian Robinson, the mother of former first lady Michelle Obama, has died. She was 86.

“My mom Marian Robinson was my rock, always there for whatever I needed. She was the same steady backstop for our entire family, and we are heartbroken to share she passed away today,” Mrs. Obama wrote on Instagram Friday, May 31.

The post was accompanied by a statement she signed along with former President Barack Obama, Craig and Kelly Robinson, and Marian’s grandchildren Avery, Leslie, Malia, Sasha, Austin and Aaron.

“Marian Lois Shields Robinson — our mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother — had a way of summing up the truths about life in a word or two, maybe a quick phrase that made everyone around her stop and think,” family members said. “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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They described Robinson as a “witness” to their successes and stumbles.

Robinson was a native of Chicago’s South Side and lived with the Obamas after they moved to the White House in 2009.

She was celebrated for helping the busy couple take care of their daughters Malia and Sasha.

In their statement Friday, Robinson’s family said she agreed to move to Washington, D.C. with “a healthy nudge.”

“We needed her. The girls needed her. And she ended up being our rock through it all,” they said. “She relished her role as a grandmother to Malia and Sasha — just as she doted on Avery, Leslie, Austin, and Aaron.”

They revealed Robinson was never quite comfortable with the glitz and glamour of the White House.

“Just show me how to work the washing machine and I’m good,” family members quoted her as saying.

Over the eight years Robinson lived in the White House, she made friends with the ushers and butlers, “the folks who make the White House a home,” according to her family.

Once the Obamas left office, Robinson returned to Chicago and reconnected with her longtime friends.

Robinson was born in 1937, and was one of seven children.

She studied to become a teacher before working as a secretary. She met Fraser Robinson, another Chicago native, and they married and had two children — daughter Michelle and son Craig. Marian volunteered for the PTA and taught her children to read at an early age.

Fraser passed away in 1991.

Family members said Friday about Marian, “We are comforted by the understanding that she has returned to the embrace of her loving Fraser, that 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.”

Read the post from Michelle Obama below:

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