When Michelle Obama met Barack Obama in 1989 at the Chicago law firm where they both worked, it was not exactly love at first sight — even though he was quite popular around the office.
“In my experience, you put a suit on any half-intelligent Black man and white people tended to go bonkers,” she went on to write in her 2018 memoir, Becoming. “I was doubtful he’d earned the hype.”
Barack, on the other hand, was infatuated from the very beginning. He repeatedly asked Michelle out, but she rebuffed him multiple times before finally agreeing.
The couple went on their first date that summer — they had lunch, saw a movie and ate Baskin-Robbins ice cream — and have been together ever since. In 1991, Barack proposed to Michelle over dinner, and they married at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago the following year.
The attorneys became parents in 1998 when Michelle gave birth to their first daughter, Malia. Sasha arrived nearly three years later.
The Obama family’s lives changed forever in 2008 when Barack was elected as the 44th president of the United States. He entered office in 2009, and began his second term in 2013. At first, living in the White House took some getting used to — particularly for Malia and Sasha.
“I thought, ‘What on earth are we doing to them?’” Michelle recalled on the Today show in 2018.
Fortunately, the girls turned out just fine. “They’ve spent the majority of their life in the international spotlight, with all the criticisms and the judgments,” the former first lady continued. “But they are down-to-earth, they are humble, they are normal. It has been a huge relief.”
Since Barack’s run as POTUS ended, he and his family have continued to stay busy. The couple signed a deal with Netflix in 2018 to produce movies, TV shows and documentaries. That same year, Michelle released her memoir, Becoming, and the first volume of Barack’s post-presidential books, A Promised Land, is due out in late 2020. Malia and Sasha, meanwhile, are students at Harvard University and the University of Michigan, respectively.
Scroll down to see a timeline of Barack and Michelle’s love story!