Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama’s mother, dies at 86 

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Marian Robinson

WASHINGTON — Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, has died, according to a family statement shared with NBC News. Robinson was 86 years old. 

“She passed peacefully this morning, and right now, none of us are quite sure how exactly we’ll move on without her,” the family statement said. 

The family statement is from Michelle and Barack Obama; Craig Robinson and his wife, Kelly; and Marian Robinson’s grandchildren, Avery, Leslie, Malia, Sasha, Austin and Aaron. 

Robinson became known to Americans as the country’s first grandmother after her son-in-law, Barack Obama, won the 2008 presidential election. She was a fixture in the White House during his eight years in office, though she kept a low profile. She attended holiday events, the occasional overseas trip and concerts in the East Room. But most often she was with her granddaughters, Sasha and Malia. 

Having lived in Chicago her entire life, Robinson agreed to move to Washington, D.C., in 2009 to live in the White House residence and help take care of her granddaughters, who were seven and 10 years old at the time.  “I felt like this was going to be a very hard life for both of them,” she later said in a CBS interview, referring to her daughter and son-in-law. “And I was worried about their safety, and I was worried about my grandkids. That’s what got me to move to D.C.”