Marian Shields Robinson

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Marian Shields Robinson
First Family 2013 Inauguration Day portrait Miarian.jpg
Marian Shields Robinson in 2013
Marian Lois Shields

(1937-07-29) July 29, 1937 (age 82)
Known forMother of Michelle Obama
Home townChicago, Illinois
Fraser C. Robinson III
(m. 1960; died 1991)
ChildrenCraig Robinson
Michelle Obama
RelativesBarack Obama (son-in-law)

Marian Lois Robinson (née Shields; born July 29, 1937) is the mother of Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States, and Craig Robinson, a basketball executive, and the mother-in-law of former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Ancestry and early life[edit]

Marian Shields was born in Chicago in 1937, the fourth of seven children—five girls, followed by two boys—born to Purnell Nathaniel Shields, a house painter, and his wife Rebecca Jumper, a licensed practical nurse.[1][not in citations given] Both parents had multi-racial ancestry.[2] Her mother's grandfather, Dolphus T. Shields (c. 1860–1950), was the son of a slave girl and her owner's son;[2] he had moved from rural Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama, where he established his own carpentry and tool sharpening business.[3] His descendants would eventually move to Chicago during the Great Migration.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Shields married Fraser Robinson III on October 27, 1960 in Chicago.[4] They had two children together, a son Craig and a daughter Michelle LaVaughn, named after Fraser's mother. She worked as a secretary for mail-order retailer Spiegel, the University of Chicago, and a bank.[1]

Obama campaign and life in the White House[edit]

While Michelle and Barack Obama campaigned for his candidacy as president in 2008, Robinson helped them by providing support to her granddaughters, Malia and Sasha Obama. Early in January 2009, the family announced that Robinson would move into the White House with the rest of the First Family.[5]


  1. ^ a b Skiba, Katherine (March 8, 2010). "First grandma keeps low profile". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Swarns, Rachel L. (June 16, 2012). "Meet Your Cousin, the First Lady: A Family Story, Long Hidden". The New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Swarns, Rachel L.; Kantor, Jodi (October 7, 2009). "In First Lady's Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery". The New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  4. ^ LoBello, Lia (July 2, 2008). "First Families: Radar introduces you to the next president's relatives". Radar. Archived from the original on January 23, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2009.
  5. ^ Swarns, Rachel L. "Obama's Mother-in-Law to Move Into the White House". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2009.

Further reading[edit]

  • Swarns, Rachel L. (2012). American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-220465-3.

External links[edit]