First family! Barack Obama not only brought big plans with him to The White House when he became the 44th president of the United States but also wife Michelle Obama and their two young daughters, Malia and Sasha. The girls grew up in front of the country’s eyes while the politician served from 2009 to 2017.
Barack and Michelle met in June 1989 while working at a Chicago law firm together. They began dating later that summer and got engaged in 1991. They tied the knot in October 1992.
The couple welcomed daughters Malia, in July 1998, and Natasha “Sasha,” in June 2001. The former first lady revealed in 2018 that she suffered a miscarriage while trying to conceive and eventually turned to in vitro fertilization.
“We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well,” Michelle wrote in her memoir, Becoming. “We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage, which left me physically uncomfortable and cratered any optimism we felt.”
The attorney told Good Morning America in November 2018 that she realized in her mid-30s “the biological clock is real” and “egg production is limited,” so the pair “had to do IVF.”
After graduating from high school, Malia began attending Harvard University in August 2017, while Sasha started at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2019.
Barack and Michelle received unexpected quality time with their daughters in 2020 when the quarantine caused by the coronavirus pandemic forced them to return home. However, she joked that September that being stuck in the house together for months took its toll.
“At first, our kids got a little sick of us, which was fine because we were pretty much sick of them,” Michelle quipped on Conan. “The summer started happening, and then we could be outside a little bit more. We came to the vineyard, where we still are, and so there’s more room to roam around. That was good because it helped us break it up.”
Barack, for his part, has been open about the challenges of parenting as the nation’s former leader, including when he broke down after helping Malia move to college.
“I held it together in front of Malia and then we drove away,” he recalled on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction in January 2018. “Secret Service is in the front, and they’re just looking ahead. They’re pretending they can’t see me in the back sniffling. But the ritual of it was powerful.”
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Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of the Obamas through the years.