Tragedy Strikes Obama Family: ‘We Are Heartbroken’


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

A tragedy has struck the family of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, has died at the age of 86, reports said. Michelle made the announcement Friday via a joint Instagram post with her husband, informing followers that Robinson “passed peacefully this morning.”

“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,” the post said.

Adding several slides to the post, the couple wrote, “We wanted to offer some reflections on her remarkable life.”

The Obamas described Robinson as full of “wisdom” and added that she was “nonjudgemental.” Robinson had the “deep understanding that the world’s roughest edges could always be sanded down with a little grace.”


One of seven children, Robinson grew up on the South Side of Chicago, Page Six reported, adding that her father used to “wake the kids up at sunrise by blasting jazz records as an alarm clock,” so she “learned early that even in the face of hardship, there was music to be found.”

She went to school to become a teacher before she began work as a secretary, and she “fell quickly and madly in love with Fraser Robinson, another South-Sider.” After the couple married, they had two children: Michelle and her brother, Craig Robinson.

Marian “volunteered for the PTA,” “taught her children to read at an early age,” and gave them the “strength and confidence to walk to school — and out into the world — all on their own.”

“She once chewed out a police officer who had accused Craig of stealing a bike, demanding that the adult apologize to her son,” the family noted, adding that she and her husband would nightly “hold court at the dinner table,” teaching their kids “to believe in the power and worth of their voices.”

Marian’s family described her as “wholeheartedly supportive,” which included their daughter’s decision to wed “a guy crazy enough to go into politics.”

Page Six added:

“On Election Night in 2008, when the news broke that Barack would soon shoulder the weight of the world, she was there, holding his hand,” Marian’s family penned, adding that she later “agreed to move to the White House” — but only after “a healthy nudge.”

Marian also “relished her role as a grandmother” to Barack and Michelle’s daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama, as well as her other grandchildren. According to her family, “she made clear that she sided with her ‘grandbabies’ in thinking that their parents were too darn strict.”

Despite her daughter and son-in-law’s status, Marian remained humble, as the “trappings and glamour of the White House” did not impress her. Moreover, “the only guest she made a point of asking to meet was the Pope.”

Marian moved back to Chicago after Obama’s two terms, where she stayed until the end.

“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. She’s missed him so,” her family shared.

The family added: “In our sadness, we are lifted up by the extraordinary gift of her life. And we will spend the rest of ours trying to live up to her example.”

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