Michelle Obama’s mother dies

Henry

Marian Robinson, mother of former US first lady Michelle Obama, died on Friday. She was 86 years old.

“We needed her. The daughters needed her. And she was our rock through everything,” the family said in a statement.

After Barack Obama was elected US President, Robinson moved into the White House with the family. Although she was no fan of publicity, she was present during some of the Obama family’s most visible moments. She was a regular at holiday celebrations and with the Obamas and their daughters, Sasha and Malia.

On election night in 2008, she was photographed holding her son-in-law’s hand while the two waited on a bench while the results poured in. The photo is known worldwide.

“With every step, as our families walked a path that none of us could have predicted, she remained our safe haven in the storm; she kept us anchored,” the family statement reads.

Robinson was born in 1937 and grew up in Chicago. She was one of seven children and later qualified as a teacher. She married her husband, Fraser, in 1960 and the couple had two children: Michelle Obama and her brother, Craig Robinson.

Fraser died in 1991 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

Although she lived in the White House, Marian Robinson chose to stay in her room. She also liked to slip out of the White House to run errands – like going to the pharmacy.

During the Obamas’ eight years in the White House, from 2009 to 2017, the “only guest she specifically asked to meet was the pope,” her family said.