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Barack Obama announces death of Michelle's mother, Marian Lois Shields Robinson

Statement on the passing of Marian Robinson from Barack and Michelle Obama

President Barack Obama (from left), his daughters Sasha and Malia, first lady Michelle Obama and Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama’s mother, at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial on the National Mall in Washington in 2011.Carolyn Kaster/AP

The family of former U.S. President Barack Obama has announced the passing of Marian Lois Shields Robinson, the beloved mother of his wife Michelle Obama.

Robinson passed away peacefully this morning, leaving behind a legacy of wisdom, strength, and unconditional love that has deeply impacted her family and friends.

Michelle eulogised that her mother was her rock and always there for whatever she needed.

"She was the same steady backstop for our entire family, and we are heartbroken to share she passed away today. We wanted to offer some reflections on her remarkable life," she posted.

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On his part, Barack said that the family cherishes the time spent with Marian and will spend the rest of their lives trying to live up to her example.

Born on the South Side of Chicago, Marian Robinson was one of seven children.

Despite the challenges she faced growing up, including her parents' separation and her father's inability to join a union due to racial discrimination, her life was marked by resilience and a profound sense of grace.

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Her father often woke the children with jazz music, teaching them to find joy even in difficult times.

As a young woman, Marian Robinson pursued a career in teaching before working as a secretary.

She met and fell in love with Fraser Robinson, with whom she raised two children, Craig and Michelle, in a small apartment on Euclid Avenue.

Marian was deeply involved in her children's education, volunteering for the PTA and teaching them to read.

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She fiercely protected her children, once demanding an apology from a police officer who wrongfully accused her son of stealing a bike.

Marian Robinson's unwavering support extended to her children's adult lives.

She backed Craig's decision to leave a high-paying finance job to coach basketball and supported Michelle's marriage to a man with political aspirations.

When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Marian provided a steadying presence in the White House, where she moved to help care for her granddaughters, Malia and Sasha.

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Despite the grandeur of the White House, Marian preferred simplicity.

She cherished her role as a grandmother, balancing fun with discipline and always siding with her grandchildren when it came to their parents' rules.

Her time in the White House was spent quietly, often sneaking out to buy greeting cards at CVS or befriending the staff who made the residence feel like home.

After returning to Chicago post-White House, Marian reconnected with old friends and enjoyed a slower pace of life, filled with travel and good wine.

She remained a pillar of strength and love for her family, always welcoming them back home with open arms and a kind heart.

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The statement from the Obama family highlights Marian's profound impact on their lives, describing her as a "calm and nonjudgmental witness to our triumphs and stumbles" and the best mother-in-law Barack and Kelly could hope for.

She was an inspiring grandmother, always making her grandchildren feel loved and remarkable.

As they mourn her loss, the Obamas find comfort in the belief that Marian has reunited with her late husband, Fraser.

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They remember her words of wisdom and the beauty she saw in every child, striving to live up to her example of grace and resilience.

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