Michelle Obama turns 57 today, with a sweet tribute from husband Barack who called her his ‘best friend’ and a ‘blessing’.
The former President posted a throw-back photo of the former First Lady from the 1990s on Twitter and Instagram today alongside the caption: ‘Happy birthday to my love, my partner, and my best friend. Every moment with you is a blessing. Love you, Miche.’
He was joined by a crowd of online well-wishers including vice-president elect Kamala Harris, actors Viola Davis and Regina King, chat-show hot Ellen and the Rev Al Sharpton as well as The UN’s gender equality body, UN Women, who thanked her for ‘inspiring the women of today’.
In her message Harris, 56, tweeted a photo of herself with Obama and said: ‘Thank you for pouring every ounce of yourself into empowering the next generation of leaders. Our country, and myself, are better off because of you.’
Her sentiment was echoed by The UN Women account, an entity at the UN dedicated to fighting for gender equality, that said: ‘Thank you for inspiring the women of today and the girls who will lead us into the future’.
Oscar-winning actor Viola Davis, known for her work in 2017’s Fences, for which she won best-supporting actress, tweeted a photo, and called her a ‘hero’.
‘Thank you for your authenticity, beauty, courage, intelligence and loyalty. You’re OUR hero, sis!! I hope to honor you and all you are in my portrayal of you! Love ya’, she said.
Reverend Al Sharpton called her ‘our Forever First Lady’ and added: ‘Thank you for being you.’
Many people on Twitter noted that Obama shares her birthday with Golden Girls actor Betty White, who turns 99 today, and Star Wars actor James Earl Jones who turns 90.
As well as the singer late Eartha Kitt and Heavy Weight champion Muhammad Ali.
Michelle Robinson was born in the south side of Chicago in 1964.
She graduated from Princeton University, joining Chicago corporate law firm Sidley & Austin.
The couple met in 1989, when Michelle was 25 and assigned as mentor to the 27-year-old Barack, a summer associate at the firm.
At first, Michelle refused to accept the offer of a date from Barack, but they eventually went on a picnic, long walk, tour of the Art Institute, had Baskin-Robbins ice cream, and saw a movie.
The Obamas married in 1992 and have two daughters: Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19.
After her husband’s historic win in 2008 they moved into The White House for eight years.
Since leaving in 2016, the Obamas have eschewed national politics in favor of social causes, their personal memoirs and projects.
In her best-selling book, Becoming, Michelle wrote about the stresses that the presidency put on their marriage, as reported in People.
Just 15 days after its release, became the best-selling book in the U.S. for 2018, and it sold 10 million copies in its first year on shelves.
In addition to their partnership with Spotify, the pair also inked a deal with Netflix to produce television shows and films for the streaming service.
Their production company’s first feature release, American Factory, debuted on Netflix in 2019 and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.