Michelle Obama’s mother Marion Robinson has died at the age of 86

WASHINGTON – Marion Robinson, the mother of former first lady Michelle Obama, has died, according to a family statement shared with NBC News. Robinson is 86 years old.

“She passed peacefully this morning and now, none of us are sure how we will move on without her,” the family statement said.

Family Statement from Michelle and Barack Obama; Craig Robinson and his wife Kelly; and Marion Robinson’s grandchildren, Avery, Leslie, Malia, Sasha, Austin and Aaron.

Robinson became known by Americans as the nation’s first grandmother after her son-in-law Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election. He was a fixture in the White House during his eight years in office, though he kept a low profile. He attended holiday events, the occasional trip abroad, and concerts in the East Room. But mostly she was with her granddaughters Sasha and Malia.

Marion Robinson moved to Washington, D.C. to care for her granddaughters at the White House.Caroline Castor/AP File

Robinson, who has lived in Chicago all her life, agreed to move to Washington, D.C. in 2009 to live in the White House and help care for her granddaughters, who were seven and 10 at the time.

“I felt it was going to be a very difficult life for both of them,” he later told CBS Interview, referring to her daughter and son-in-law. “I was worried about their safety, I was worried about my grandchildren. That’s what made me move to DC.”

In a statement Friday, Robinson’s family members said they agreed to leave Chicago with a “healthy nudge.”

“We need her. The girls need her. She’s been our rock through everything,” they said.

See also  Cowboys beat Lions after 2-point conversion, Taylor Decker: 'I did what coach told me to do'

“She relished her role as a grandmother. … And she made it clear she sided with her ‘grandfathers’ in thinking they were their parents, even though she enforced the house rules we set for sleeping, watching TV or eating candy. Very strict,” they added.

Robinson was born in Chicago in 1937 and grew up on the city’s South Side, where she raised her daughter and son, Craig Robinson. She married Fraser Robinson, who died of multiple sclerosis in 1991.

The former president once called his mother-in-law “the least pretentious person I know.” Indeed, Robinson said in the CBS interview that it was a “huge adjustment” awaited by the White House residential staff, who he said allowed him to do his own laundry.

“Instead of hanging out with Oscar winners or Nobel laureates, he preferred to spend his time watching a television set upstairs in the living room outside his bedroom with large windows overlooking the Washington Monument,” the family said in a statement Friday. “The only guest she asked to meet was the Pope.”

Former President Robinson credits his daughters for keeping them grounded as they grew up in the White House.

“She’s down to earth and she doesn’t understand all the fuss,” he said Interview “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Marion Robinson, pictured right with her granddaughter Malia Obama and daughter Michelle Obama, was a fixture in the White House during Barack Obama’s presidency.Butch Dill / AP File

Michelle Obama was very close to her mother. Robinson narrated a biographical video introducing his daughter at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. And after leaving the White House, Robinson said, “When I grow up, I want to be like Michelle Obama.”

See also  Garcetti's diplomatic effort is shrouded in scandal, clearing the final hurdle

A few weeks ago, Michelle Obama paid tribute to her mother on Mother’s Day declares An exhibit at the Obama Presidential Center Museum in Chicago will be named after him.

“In so many ways she instilled in me a deep confidence in who I am and who I can be by teaching me how to think for myself, how to use my own voice, and how to understand my own worth,” the first lady said in a video announcement. It cannot be as it is today.”

A family statement released Friday said, “There was and will be only one Marion Robinson,” adding, “In our sadness, we are uplifted by the extraordinary gift of her life. And we will try to live the rest of us by her example.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *