Monday 20 November 2017

New book reveals Barack Obama asked another woman to marry him before he met Michelle

President Barack Obama (R) gives Michelle Obama a kiss as they wait for President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania at the White House before the inauguration on January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama (R) gives Michelle Obama a kiss as they wait for President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania at the White House before the inauguration on January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A new biography into the life of the former US president Barack Obama, reveals that Mr Obama asked another woman to marry him long before he met his wife Michelle.

In the biography titled 'Rising Star' by David J. Garrow, an insight is given into Mr Obama's determination to be successful and his early relationships.

According to the Washington Post, the book reveals for the first time the story of a woman Mr Obama lived with and loved in Chicago, in the years before he met Michelle.

The book claims that Mr Obama met Sheila Miyoshi Jager, now a professor at Oberlin College, and asked her to marry him when they were in their early 20s.

U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, wearing Sophie Theallet, in 2011
U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, wearing Sophie Theallet, in 2011

Ms Jager was of Dutch and Japanese ancestry and, like Obama’s distant mother, also studied anthropology.

“In the winter of ‘86, when we visited my parents, he asked me to marry him,” Ms Jager told David J. Garrow in his book.

Her parents were opposed, not because of racial differences, but because her mother thought that Ms Jager, two years Mr Obama’s junior, was too young.

Ms Jager said that Mr Obama suddenly became more ambitious and soon had his sights set on becoming president.

U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama speak onstage at TNT Christmas in Washington in December 2014 (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama speak onstage at TNT Christmas in Washington in December 2014 (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

The book examines how race and politics suddenly overwhelmed Ms Jager and Mr Obama’s relationship. “The marriage discussions dragged on and on,” but now they were clouded by Obama’s “torment over this central issue of his life . . . race and identity,” Ms Jager recalls. The “resolution of his black identity was directly linked to his decision to pursue a political career,” she said.

The pair went their separate ways and Mr Obama soon met Michelle Robinson at the Chicago law firm where she worked and got married.

According to the Washington Post, the book also looks at Mr Obama's political ambitions and his road to becoming the 44th US President.

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