Soetoro-Ng, who is nine years younger than Obama, said her mother divorced Soetoro when she was 9, making Obama the father figure in her life. He toured colleges with her, showed her New York and Chicago and gave her her first novels.
Other close family members include Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, who is the men's basketball coach at Oregon State University and Barack Obama's half-sister Maya Soetoro Ng. Ng was born in 1970 in Indonesia, the daughter of Obama's mother and her second husband, Lolo Soetoro. She teaches school in Hawaii.
Both Michelle and Barack Obama have stated their personal priority is their two daughters, Malia and Sasha. The parents realize that the move from Chicago to Washington, D.C., would be a major adjustment for any family. Living in the White House, having Secret Service protection, and always being in the wake of their parents' public lives has dramatically transformed their lives. Both parents try to make their daughters' lives as "normal" as possible with set times for study, bed, and getting up.
Their first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, and their second daughter, Natasha, known as Sasha, was born on June 10, 2001. All three were born in Chicago and, until moving to Washington on January 5, 2009, two months after Barack Obama was elected President, they had spent almost their entire lives there.
Michelle Obama was born on January 17, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois. She attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985, and went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. Following law school, she worked at a Chicago law firm, where she met her husband, President Barack Obama. The couple married in 1992.
There wasn't much money. They all lived in a 950-square-foot apartment. His grandfather's effort to sell furniture, and later insurance, failed. Holding the family together was a 5-foot-3 woman they called "Toot." "She never got a college education, but is one of the smartest people I know," Obama said of his grandmother, who in a man's world, worked her way up from secretary to bank vice president.
Madelyn and Stanley Dunham married in 1940, a few weeks before she graduated from high school. Their daughter, Stanley Ann, was born in 1942. After several moves to and from California, Texas, Washington and Kansas, Stanley Dunham's job landed the family in Hawaii. Obama moved to Indonesia with his mother and stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, at age 6. But in 1971, her mother sent him back to Hawaii to live with her parents. He stayed with the Dunhams until he graduated from high school in 1979.
But the father soon abandoned his young family to attend Harvard, and then returned to Africa. The son would see his father only once again, when he was 10. Barack Sr. had a new life, wives and children back in Kenya as well as troubles, including depression and alcohol, that followed the political conflicts that upended his career as a senior government economist. One crippling car accident was followed by another, this time fatal, his short life ending in Nairobi at age 46 in 1982.
Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., was born of Luo ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya. The elder Obama grew up herding goats in Africa, eventually earning a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams of college in Hawaii. While studying at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, Obama, Sr. met fellow student, Ann Dunham. They married on February 2, 1961. Barack was born six months later.
Barack Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in Wichita, Kansas, where her father worked on oil rigs during the Depression. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dunham's father, Stanley, enlisted in the service and marched across Europe in Patton's army. Dunham's mother, Madelyn, went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, the couple studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program and, after several moves, landed in Hawaii.