Michelle Obama

“Friendships between women, as any woman will tell you, are built of a thousand small kindnesses... swapped back and forth and over again.”

Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States and Activist, 1964-present

The Ritz-Carlton Chicago honors Michelle Obama, attorney, author, and activist.

Raised on the South Side of Chicago, she is the first Black American first lady in history. 

She was also known for her sense of style and support of young fashion designers such as Jason Wu, who designed the dresses she wore for President Obama’s inaugurations in 2009 and 2013.

Born to a city-pump operator father and a stay-at-home mother, both Obama and her older brother learned to read at age four, and both skipped second grade. Following her brother’s footsteps, she was educated at Princeton, and then went on to Harvard School of Law. She practiced law briefly at Chicago firm Sidley Austin where she met Barack Obama, a summer associate whom she supervised. Presciently, their first date was a screening of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. After they married in 1992, she worked in public service at Chicago’s City Hall and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She is known for her persuasive stump speeches, and paused her career to take a prominent role in her husband’s presidential campaign. 

Michelle Obama’s lasting legacy is in advocacy for healthy families (she planted an organic vegetable garden at the White House) and adolescent girls’ education around the world. Her “Let’s Move” campaign helped curb the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States. 

Michelle Obama’s 2017 autobiography, Becoming, has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide. In 2020 she became the only American first lady to host a podcast, The Michelle Obama Podcast.


Michelle Obama’s warm approach toward elegance is the perfect embodiment of The Ritz-Carlton’s iconic reputation. The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago is thrilled to continue celebrating this history-making Chicago native with the First Lady Suite Open House on April 9th (4pm - 7pm) in conjunction with Showtime’s newest series The First Lady.

From March 30 - April 3, Michelle Obama's 2009 inauguration dress is brought to life by Your Camellía, in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago. A floral interpretation of Michelle Obama's 2013 inauguration dress by Kehoe Designs will be on display at 900 North Michigan Shops.



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