Michelle Obama Tears Up Recounting Late Father’s Battle With MS


Michelle Obama became emotional while recalling the strength she saw her father display, despite his battle with multiple sclerosis.

The former First Lady sat down for a deep dive as part of REVOLT x Michelle Obama: The Cross Generational Conversation, where she opened up about the impact her late father, Fraser Robinson III, still has on her 30 years after his death, People reports.

“When I think about what my dad, as a Black man with M.S. [multiple sclerosis], could’ve done — he could have never worked a day in his life, he could have collected benefits, he could have succumbed to his disease and be depressed about it, but he didn’t,” Obama said.

She started to tear up when recounting the resilience her father displayed while battling the disease by continuing to be a present father and husband to his family.

“He never felt sorry for himself, he never expected others to do for him, and just the sheer act of him getting up every day and going to work was a statement that — ugh, now I’m going to cry — that stays with me every day of my life,” Obama said.

Robinson worked as a pump worker at the Chicago water plant and also served as a precinct captain for the Democratic Party before passing away due to complications of multiple sclerosis at the age of 55. Obama was 27 at the time of his death and, now at age 58, she credits her dad for shaping her future success at work and at home.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about the lessons he taught us and how he is not here to see any of it, and so much of it is because of him,” she said.

“That is the power of what a working-class Black man can do in the world, which is why I don’t want any Black man out here to think that they don’t have something to offer their kids.

“What my dad did was beyond money, title, influence, nothing. I would trade it all for what my father provided us in that little bitty apartment on 74th and Euclid.”

The Cross Generational Conversation premieres on REVOLT Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. ET. It’s moderated by radio personality Angie Martinez, and features a deep dive between singer H.E.R., supermodel Winnie Harlow, singer and actress Kelly Rowland, Obama, and Tina Knowles-Lawson.

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