Michelle Lavaughn Robinson Obama, wife of President Barack Obama, was the first African American woman to serve as First Lady of the United States, from 2009 to 2017. Motivated to stay out of trouble and perform well in school due to her father’s multiple sclerosis, Michelle attended both Princeton and Harvard and became an attorney. By contrast, Michelle was drawn to Barack Obama’s adventurous nature, and together they have become one of America’s most beloved couples. In the White House and since, Michelle’s initiatives have always been hands on, focusing on children and families and making her a stalwart role model for women and girls.
Betty Ford was the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. She was active in social policy and set a precedent as a politically active presidential spouse and one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time. She also raised awareness of addiction when she made her long-running battle with alcoholism and substance abuse public.
Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, from 1933 to 1945. She was an American political figure, diplomat and activist. Controversial for her outspokenness, particularly on civil rights, she was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column and host a weekly radio show. She also pushed the United States to join and support the United Nations and became its first delegate.
Susan Elizabeth Ford is the only daughter and youngest child of President Gerald and Betty Ford. As a teenager in the White House during the tumultuous mid-70’s, she often introduced progressive ideas to the presidential family.
A star linebacker for the University of Michigan Wolverines, Gerald Ford married Betty Bloomer in 1948 and served as a member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, holding Michigan’s 5th Congressional District seat from 1949 to 1973. He later became the only person to serve as both vice president and president of the United States without being elected to either office by the electoral college.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was the 32nd president of the United States, from 1933 until his death in 1945, and the only U.S. president to serve an unprecedented four terms. He married his fifth cousin Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905, and together the couple became two of the most central figures in world events during the 20th century, with FDR eventually enacting the New Deal Coalition that defined modern liberalism in the U.S. In 1921, Roosevelt contracted polio, and his legs became permanently paralyzed. Unstoppable even after that, FDR is revered as one of the nation’s greatest presidents.
Barack Hussein Obama II was elected the 44th President of the United States and the first African American commander-in-chief from 2009 to 2017, having served two terms. A member of the Democratic Party, Barack married Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in 1992 before he became an Illinois state senator in 2005. Barack and Michelle are the parents of Malia and Sasha Obama.