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!

October 1992

“It was beautiful,” Michelle’s pal, PR exec Yvonne Davila, once told Us Weekly of the couple’s vows at Chicago’s Trinity United. Attended by 200 guests, Michelle “was happy,” Davila said. “She was marrying the man she loves.”

Courtesy of the White House

November 2004

Joined by Sasha and Malia in a hotel room, the couple waited for U.S. Senate election results in Chicago. (Barack beat Republican candidate Alan Keyes.) “They make sure to have real family time,” Hill Harper, a Barack classmate, once told Us.

Courtesy of the White House

January 2009

The couple walked down the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial during We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration in Washington, D.C. “She’s gorgeous. She’s strong and smart and grounded,” Barack once told Chicago of his wife. “She’s brutally honest, which is good for keeping my head on straight.”


January 2009

Michelle snuggled up to Barack in Washington, D.C., in a historic photo taken during his inaugural parade.


January 2009

Barack and Michelle danced at MTV and ServiceNation’s Be the Change: Live From the Inaugural Ball at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. “I remember how just luscious I felt as the president and I were announced onto the stage for the first of many dances,” Michelle later said. “And I’ll cherish that moment for the rest of my life.”

Patsy Lynch/Shutterstock

March 2009

The duo shared a private moment in the Red Room prior to the National Newspaper Publishers Association reception in Washington, D.C. “This is a real marriage and a real partnership,” Michelle’s pal Davila once told Us of the couple.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

September 2009

The first family posed for a portrait in the Green Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. “Michelle really wanted to be a mom,” Valerie Jarrett, a pal since the early 1990s, once told Us. “She talked about kids when I first met her.”

Official White House Photo

September 2009

Barack kissed the first lady after speaking about health care at a joint session of Congress. “He’s an incredible husband and father,” Michelle told Us of her hubby in 2008.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

December 2009

The political powerhouses posed for a formal portrait in front of the official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room of the White House. “Our girls are the center of Barack’s and my world,” Michelle has said of daughters Malia and Sasha. “They’re the reason he ran for president.”

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

May 2010

Barack whispered to his wife before welcoming Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderon, and his wife, Margarita Zavala, on the South Lawn of the White House.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

October 2010

Barack embraced the first lady as they waited to speak at a rally at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. For most high-profile politicians, “the tradition has been to be less touchy-feely in public,” historian and First Ladies author Betty Boyd Caroli once told Us. However, “Most people do like to see it, especially when it appears genuine. It’s a youthful image.”

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

May 2011

The couple traveled to London for two days at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II. “I love shaking hands,” Michelle once told Chicago. “I love hearing stories.”

Photo by Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images

July 2011

Barack hugged Michelle after watching her jump rope for Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play in Washington, D.C. “I believe fostering young people is important and we can all be mentors to someone in our life,” Michelle would later tell Us.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

December 2011

The Obamas posed for a family portrait in the Oval Office. “Nothing is more important to Michelle than being a good mother,” Barack once told Us. “She works every day to instill in our girls the same values we were raised with.”

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

July 2012

The spouses smooched during the U.S. Men’s Olympic basketball team’s game against Brazil at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. “We love watching sports — especially when there’s a Kiss Cam involved,” Michelle told Us in 2012.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

August 2012

Barack visited his wife during the Kids’ State Dinner luncheon event at the East Room of the White House.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

December 2013

The couple looked festive as they arrived at the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors reception in the East Room of the White House during the holiday season.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/Shutterstock

December 2014

The Obama family posed in front of a massive Christmas tree during the TNT special Christmas in Washington.


September 2015

Michelle lovingly adjusted Barack’s bow tie as they waited for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, for a state dinner at the White House.

Steve Helber/AP/Shutterstock

January 2017

In his final days as president, Barack took Michelle on a trip to Hawaii. They waved to photographers from Air Force One on their way home.

Marco Garcia/AP/Shutterstock

November 2017

The pair only had eyes for each other on stage at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago.


October 2019

Michelle took to Instagram to celebrate her and Barack’s 27th wedding anniversary. “Here’s to our next chapter of becoming empty nesters and discovering what’s next—while still feeling the magic that brought us together all those years ago,” she wrote after Malia returned to Harvard University and Sasha began her first year at the University of Michigan.

Courtesy Barack Obama/Instagram

January 2020

Barack shared adorable — and hilarious — photo booth snaps with Michelle in honor of her birthday. “In every scene, you are my star, @MichelleObama!” he captioned the Instagram post.

Courtesy Michelle Obama/Instagram

October 2020

The former president praised his wife as they celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary. “Even with everything going on, I wanted to take a moment to say happy anniversary to the love of my life,” he captioned an Instagram photo of the couple smiling together. “Every day with @MichelleObama makes me a better husband, a better father, and a better human. This year, while we appreciate all your well-wishes, what we’d really love is for each of you to reach out to one person in your life who might not vote. Help them get registered. Help them make a plan to cast their ballot. Send them to iwillvote.com to get started. Happy anniversary, Miche. Love you.”

Michelle shared her own tribute to her husband on Instagram, writing, “28 years with this one. I love @BarackObama for his smile, his character, and his compassion. So grateful to have him as a partner through everything life throws at us. And this year, we have a request for you — pick one person in your life who might not vote and make sure they do. …  Love you, Barack.”

Courtesy of Michelle Obama/Instagram

November 2020

Barack opened up to Gayle King in an interview for CBS Sunday Morning in November 2020 about why fans won’t see him “suddenly” working at the White House with President-elect Joe Biden. “There are probably some things I would not be doing, because Michelle would leave me,” he joked when asked if he would serve in Biden’s cabinet. “She’d be like, ‘What? You’re doing what?’” The former president explained that he is “mindful of the sacrifices” his wife made while he was serving as head of state. He added: “The good news is that for whatever reason, she has forgiven me … sort of. She still reminds me, occasionally, of what she put up with.”

Charles Dharapak/AP/Shutterstock