The former president met Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in June 1989 while they were working at the same Chicago law firm. “She was tall, beautiful, funny, outgoing, generous, and wickedly smart — and I was smitten almost from the second I saw her,” he wrote in his 2020 memoir, A Promised Land.
Michelle, however, was not immediately impressed by her future husband, who joined the firm as a summer associate while still in school at Harvard Law. She was suspicious of how much praise their coworkers were heaping on him, and to top it all off, he showed up late for their first work meeting.
“And then in walks Barack Obama. And Barack Obama has always walked like Barack Obama,” she told Robin Roberts in November 2018. “Like he’s got all the time in the world. He had that stride. I was like, ‘Dude, you’re cute.’ But in my mind, I was like … not even not interested. I’m not going to date one of the few Black summer associates, Robin. How tacky!”
Eventually, the Nobel Peace Prize winner convinced her to go on a date with him. They went to the movies to see Spike Lee‘s Do the Right Thing and then stopped at Baskin-Robbins for some ice cream. It was then that Michelle knew she was smitten.
“He played it real smooth,” she told Roberts. “He just leaned in for a kiss and that really was it. From that kiss on we were — it was love, and he was my man.”
The pair wed in October 1992 at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, with a reception at the South Shore Cultural Center. For their first dance, Michelle chose Stevie Wonder‘s “You and I.”
In July 1998, they welcomed their first daughter, Malia. A second daughter, Sasha, followed in June 2001.
“Coexisting with Barack’s strong sense of purpose — sleeping in the same bed with it, sitting at the breakfast table with it — was something to which I had to adjust,” she wrote in her 2018 memoir, Becoming. Eventually, he convinced her using his trademark way with words.
“I know that the day I raise my right hand and take the oath to be president of the United States, the world will start looking at America differently,” he told her. “I know that kids all around this country — Black kids, Hispanic kids, kids who don’t fit in — they’ll see themselves differently, too … and that alone … that would be worth it.” Michelle then replied, “Well, honey … that was a pretty good answer.”
Keep scrolling for a look back at some of Barack and Michelle’s sweetest quotes about each other: