Get to know the Obamas: Bios of Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha

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Michelle Obama -44, is a Harvard-trained lawyer who grew up in the South Shore community on the South Side of Chicago. She grew up in a modest house, her mother mostly a homemaker and her father a city worker who suffered from multiple sclerosis.

She followed her older brother, Craig Robinson, to Princeton University, graduating with honors in 1985. After graduating from Harvard Law School, she worked at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her husband in 1989. She has also worked for City Hall in Chicago and at University of Chicago Hospitals.

Thoughts on meeting her husband: "Who names their kid Barack Obama?"

Their first date: Spike Lee's movie "Do the Right Thing."

Married: October 1992

Primary Job: Caring for the children. During the campaign, rarely spent more than two consecutive nights away from home. Babysitter while she was gone: Her mother, Marion Robinson.

"I want (Malia) and Sasha to stay pretty focused on their lives."

"My first priority will always be to make sure that our girls are healthy and grounded. Then I want to help other families get the support they need, not just to survive, but to thrive."

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What she told Obama before he took the stage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention: "Just don't screw it up, buddy."

Natasha "Sasha" Obama -Daughter, born in 2001.

She takes dance classes.

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At the Democratic National Convention when her father appeared via satellite after Michelle Obama's speech and misidentified the city he was in, Sasha, seemingly prompted by her mother, gave her dad a chance for a do-over asking him, "Daddy, what city are you in?" He got it right the second time.

Malia Ann Obama -Daughter, born in 1998.

In her speech at the Democratic National convention, Michelle Obama recalled that after Malia was born, her husband drove back from the hospital "at a snail's pace, peering anxiously at us in the rearview mirror, feeling the whole weight of her future in his hands." Malia plays soccer.

After one on-camera family interview, Malia teased her father on his poor fashion sense, and gave him this advice about meeting her friends: "You really don't shake kids' hands that much. ... You just wave or say hi."

Malia on how her parents respond when she argues with sister Sasha: "Arguing is the worst thing because then they sit us down and say, 'You know you guys are the best thing that you have in your life.' We're never going to get something as good as each other.'"

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Barack Obama -47, born in Hawaii. Barack means "one who is blessed." Nicknamed Barry as a child.

Lived in Indonesia as a boy and made Chicago his home as an adult.

He graduated from Columbia University, then worked as a community organizer in Chicago before attending Harvard University Law School.

He was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He served in the Illinois State Senate, then went on to become U.S. Senator in 2004. His speech at the Democratic National Convention that year launched him into the national spotlight. From there, he was considered to be a likely candidate for presidency and in 2006 stumped for several Democrats, drawing huge crowds.

Launched his campaign: February 2007 in Springfield, Ill.

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"What I've been able to do is create a zone of normalcy for my kids. I have been able to transmit to them my absolute interest in them and my absolute love for them. I don't miss the important things. I haven't missed a dance recital. I haven't missed a parent-teacher conference. But there are some things I do miss, and those are some of the tradeoffs you make."

About his marriage: "It is important that when I'm home to make sure that I'm present and I still forget stuff. As Michelle likes to say, 'You are a good man, but you are still a man.' I leave my socks around. I'll hang my pants on the door. I leave newspapers laying around. But she lets me know when I'm not acting right. After 14 years, she's trained me reasonably well." -- Source: Lynn Norment, Ebony, "The Hottest Couple in America", February 2007.

Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church: "Faith is key to his life, no question about it. It is central to who he is, and not just in his work in the political field, but as a man, as a black man, as a husband, as a father ... I don't think he could easily divorce his faith from who he is." Source: Suntimes

Compiled by Nia-Malika Henderson

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