Michelle Obama's Mother, Marian Robinson, Dead At 86

Michelle Obama's mom, Marian Robinson, has tragically passed away at the age of 86. A family statement, from Michelle and Barack Obama, as well as Craig and Kelly Robinson and their respective children, confirmed the tragic death. They wrote (via CNN), "As a sister, aunt, cousin, neighbor, and friend to so many, she was beloved beyond words by countless others whose lives were improved by her presence," they continued, "She passed peacefully this morning, and right now, none of us are quite sure how exactly we'll move on without her." 

Michelle shared the statement on social media with her own dedication toward her mother. She wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, "My mom Marian Robinson was my rock, always there for whatever I needed. She was the same steady backstop for our entire family, and we are heartbroken to share she passed away today." 

When Barack took office in 2008, Marian became known by many as the first grandmother as she took care of her granddaughters, Sasha and Malia Obama. Although, she may not have wanted to be in the White House, telling People, "I love those people, but I love my own house. The White House reminds me of a museum, and it's like, how do you sleep in a museum?" Still, she made the sacrifice, and when she lived there and long after, she left a lasting impact on the public and will forever be remembered.

The 'First Grandmother' moved into the White House to protect the Obamas

While Marian Robinson may have cracked jokes about having a hard time sleeping in the museum-like atmosphere of the White House. She was dead serious about her mission there: Protecting Michelle Obama's family from the dangers of being the first Black couple in the White House. "I felt like this was going to be a very hard life for both of them," Robinson told Gayle King during a November 2018 interview with CBS Mornings. "And I was worried about their safety, and I was worried about my grandkids. That's what got me to move to D.C."

According to the family statement on her passing, Robinson was all business during her time at the White House and only had two requests: Show her where to the find the washing machine, and she wouldn't mind meeting the Pope. "Rather than hobnobbing with Oscar winners or Nobel laureates, she preferred spending her time upstairs with a TV tray, in the room outside her bedroom with big windows that looked out at the Washington Monument," the family wrote. They noted that Robinson preferred daily interactions with the staff more than celebrity guests. "Over those eight years, she made great friends with the ushers and butlers, the folks who make the White House a home. She'd often sneak outside the gates to buy greeting cards at CVS, and sometimes another customer might recognize her." Clearly, Marian Robinson was full of quintessential grandma energy that makes her passing an emotional day for her loved ones.