Michelle Obama

Advocate, author, lawyer, and 44th First Lady of the United States—the first Black person to serve in the role—Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most influential and iconic women of the 21st century. During her time in the White House, from 2009-2017, she established herself as a strong advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world.

As First Lady, she created: Let’s Move!, a program aimed at ending childhood obesity; the Reach Higher Initiative to help students navigate and better understand job opportunities and get the education necessary for these jobs; Joining Forces, an initiative she co-led with Dr. Jill Biden to support military veterans, service members, and military families; and Let Girls Learn, a program to support adolescent girls’ education around the world. During her eight years as First Lady, Obama helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, transforming the White House into the “People’s House.” Since leaving the White House, she has continued to have a profound public impact. Her deeply personal memoir Becoming, released in 2018, has sold over 15 million copies, been printed in 24 languages, and won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.

Following the success of her book, in July of 2020 she premiered The Michelle Obama Podcast, which features the former First Lady alongside friends and loved ones as they dive into conversations about the relationships that make us who we are. Both in and out of the White House, Michelle Obama has accomplished her initiatives and so much more—becoming an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, international adolescent girls’ education, and serving as a role model for women and young girls everywhere.

Year Honored: 2021
Birth: 1964 -
Born In: Illinois
Achievements: Arts, Humanities
Schools Attended: Princeton University, Harvard University