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Marian Robinson, mother of former First Lady Michelle Obama, dead at 86

"We will all miss her dearly and wish she were here to offer us perspective, to heal our heavy hearts with a laugh and a dose of her wisdom,” the family said in a statement.

Michelle Obama

Cordon Press

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Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama's mother, has passed away at the age of 86. This was confirmed by the family through a statement by the family celebrating her life, first as a mother and then as a grandmother. Robinson attended many White House events during the Obama administration though rarely spoke to reporters.

The family said goodbye to Robinson through a statement released on social media, in which they described her as “a rock” for everyone around her.

“We will all miss her greatly, and we wish she were here to offer us some perspective, to mend our heavy hearts with a laugh and a dose of her wisdom,” the statement read.

“We needed her. The girls needed her. And she ended up being our rock through everything. She enjoyed her role as Malia and Sasha's grandmother. ‘Just show me how to work the washing machine and I’m good,’ she’d say. Rather than hobnobbing with Oscar winners or Nobel laureates, she preferred spending her time upstairs with a TV tray, in the room outside her bedroom with big windows that looked out at the Washington Monument," the statement added.

In turn, the statement recalled when Robinson lived for a time in the White House during Barack Obama's term, although the “frills and glamour,” her family said, “never quite fit” her.