Take a look back at Barack and Michelle Obama’s fairytale romance, from their days as a young couple and parents, to the presidency and beyond.
On October 3, 1992, two of the most influential figures in American politics married and became the ultimate power couple: Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Barack’s presidential dreams hadn’t begun just yet, and the White House was a faraway destination. The two Chicago lawyers were just immensely in love and trying their best to improve the city they called home. Twenty-eight years later and four years post-presidency, let’s take a look back at Barack and Michelle Obama’s remarkable life together as he releases his memoir, A Promised Land.
Barack and Michelle Obama first met while working for the same law firm in Chicago in 1989. The colleagues became fast friends, and eventually, their relationship turned romantic. The former First Lady actually talked about what first attracted her to her future husband during an episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast. “Once [Barack and I] started talking and became friends, he was very clear — just like, ‘I want to date you. At least in my experience up until then, men would be coy,” she told guest Conan O’Brien. “They would, you know, sort of look around the room. It was all so complicated, and it felt, a little immature.”
“What struck me about Barack was his, lack of pretense,” Michelle continued. “I mean, he was somebody who knew what he wanted, and wasn’t afraid to say it. And, I thought, ‘well, if he’s that in tune with his emotions that he can that say out loud to somebody that doesn’t know.’ He didn’t know whether I liked him back! He was like, ‘look, let me tell you, this is what I think about you: I think you’re special, I think you’re different, and I would like to take you out.’ And that was rare. And it was attractive.”
Three years later, they would tie the knot and become even more accomplished as partners and as individuals. Michelle worked for the Chicago Mayor’s office, then becoming the Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago, and a leader at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Barack was a community organizer in Chicago, later becoming an Illinois State Senator in 1997, US Senator from Illinois in 2005 — and President of the United States in 2008, of course.
In the middle, they would welcome two beautiful and accomplished daughters — Malia Obama, now 22, and Sasha Obama, now 19. Malia currently attends Harvard University; Sasha is an undergrad at the University of Michigan. Barack writes in his new memoir that growing up with an absentee father made being there for his daughters his ultimate priority. “When Malia was born, I made a promise to myself that my kids would know me, that they’d grow up feeling my love keenly and consistently, knowing that I’d always put them first,” he wrote, noting that they always had dinner at 6:30 together while living at the White House.
To see more photos of Barack and Michelle Obama, along with their daughters Sasha and Malia, over the years, scroll through our gallery above. Their love story before, during, and after the presidency is something to behold.