One of the reasons, so many people find the Obamas captivating is because they are a power couple in every way. While it’s true that Barack Obama accomplished much as president, he has been open about how he couldn’t do any of this without the love and support of Michelle. And in addition to supporting her famous husband, Michelle Obama had many of her own amazing accomplishments before, during, and after Barack was president.
There were nearly too many accomplishments to count, but we went through them all, so we could bring you the biggest and best achievements of them all. What are Michelle Obama’s most killer accomplishments so far? Keep reading to discover the answers!
Authoring multiple books
When Michelle Obama speaks, people listen. It should be no surprise, then, that when she writes, everyone is eager to read what she has written.
She released her first book, Becoming, in 2018. Part of what made the book so engaging is that she didn’t focus on simple biographical details about her life (although given what a life she has had, that would likely have been captivating in its own right). She also laid down advice about everything from maintaining your sense of identity in a relationship to keeping a marriage strong. And as the BBC reports, the book was a massive success, becoming the best-selling book that year after only 15 days and selling a whopping 10 million copies in the first five months alone.
Proving her earlier success was no fluke, Michelle Obama released her second book, The Light We Carry, in 2022. Rather than focus on details of her life, this book was more about helping others collect their thoughts in a post-COVID pandemic world. This book quickly became a best-seller, proving how much everyone looks up to Michelle Obama for advice.
Making an inspirational (and solo) trip to Mexico
Michelle Obama traveled all over the world as she supported her husband in his travels. However, it was only two years into Barack Obama’s presidency that Michelle had to make her first solo international trip. In this case, she went to Mexico for two basic reasons: first, to inspire young people to focus more on improving their country and attaining the education to do so. Second, she was showing the politicians and local leaders firsthand what it would be like to work more closely with the Obama administration.
Overall, the trip was a massive success. Not only did she win over the local politicians, but as the Sydney Morning Herald points out, she spoke from the heart to the young people she was sent to inspire. She was open and honest about coming from a working-class background, and Michelle Obama may be the single greatest example that starting with very little doesn’t mean you can’t achieve everything.
Overcoming fertility struggles
These days, it’s impossible to imagine the Obama family without thinking of Malia and Sasha, the two very successful daughters in the family. Previously, Michelle Obama has been very honest about how much of a difference they have made in her life. But she also made it clear in her first book how close we came to not having those children at all!
As reported by the Associated Press, Michelle Obama’s book Becoming goes into frank detail about her difficulties conceiving children, including dealing with a heartbreaking miscarriage. After that, she turned to IVF treatments, but she despaired of whether the treatments would really work or not.
At the time, open discussion of miscarriages was still considered taboo. But this didn’t keep Michelle from going on Good Morning America and discussing her feelings. “I felt lost and alone and I felt like I failed. Because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were,” she said. “Because we don’t talk about them. We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow, we’re broken.”
She saw the problem and decided to become part of the solution. And that’s Michelle Obama in a nutshell.
Graduating from Princeton after many difficulties
One could argue getting admitted to and graduating from the prestigious Ivy League Princeton University would have been impressive enough in any context. But she later spoke about the various difficulties that she encountered, including everything from discouragement to outright racism.
According to Inside Higher Ed, a high school counselor had told her “I’m not sure that you’re Princeton material.” Michelle was at the top of her class, and she later realized the counselor was discriminating against her because she was Black. And things weren’t much better once she got into Princeton, especially after finding out that her roommate’s mother freaked out hearing that her daughter was rooming with (gasp!) a Black woman.
Fortunately, this has a happy ending. Not only did Michelle Obama graduate from Princeton but years later, she got to hear students discuss how much she had inspired them during an appearance on Good Morning America. Their words moved Michelle to happy tears.
Kicking off various bold initiatives
Last but certainly not least, Michelle Obama was never content to sit back and let Barack Obama handle everything. She decided to improve the country in her own way, and that included launching a series of bold and (at times) unpopular initiatives focused on the health of young people.
This included the Let’s Move! initiative, which focused on improving school lunch plans as well as encouraging young people to find fun ways to exercise. She also launched the Reach Higher initiative, which focused on helping students plan for continued studies after high school graduation, including both college and trade school options. And Michelle also launched the Let Girls Learn initiative, which was a global movement intended to help empower women around the world with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed.
Believe it or not, this is just a fraction of the different programs Michelle Obama helped spearhead. And these initiatives are proof that she always wanted what is best for the country and for the world.