Melania Trump, First Lady of the United States
Melania Trump, born on April 26, 1970, is a Slovene-American former model and the current First Lady of the United States. She is married to an American businessman and 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. Born in the former Yugoslavia, she became a permanent resident of the United States in 2001 and a citizen in 2006. She is the second foreign-born First Lady of the United States, following Louisa Adams in 1825, and the first who is a non-native English speaker.
Melanija Knavs was born in Novo Mesto in the southeast of Slovenia, then part of Yugoslavia, on April 26, 1970. She is a daughter of Amalija (née Ulčnik) and Viktor Knavs, who managed car and motorcycle dealerships for a state-owned vehicle manufacturer. Her father was from the nearby town of Radeče. Her mother came from the village of Raka, and was a patternmaker at the children’s clothing manufacturer “Jutranjka” in Sevnica. When later working as a model, she changed the Slovene form of her last name Knavs to the German Knauss.
She grew up in a modest apartment in a housing block in Sevnica, in Slovenia’s Lower Sava Valley. She has a sister, Ines, and an elder half-brother Denis, whom she reportedly has never met, from her father’s previous relationship. Although Melania’s family comes from a Roman Catholic background, her father, to the dismay of their relatives, wished for her to not receive the Christian sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion due to his commitment to Marxist-Leninist atheism. Melania, however, was later married in an Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea and has received Holy Communion there at Midnight Mass during her recent Christmas celebrations.
When she was a teenager, the family moved to a two-story house in Sevnica, and as a high school student, she lived in a high-rise apartment in Ljubljana. Melanija attended the Secondary School of Design and Photography in Ljubljana, and studied at the University of Ljubljana for one year before dropping out. She speaks six languages: English, French, Italian, German, Serbo-Croatian and her native Slovene.
Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States
When people ask First Lady Michelle Obama to describe herself, she doesn’t hesitate to say that first and foremost, she is Malia and Sasha’s mom.
But before she was a mother – or a wife, lawyer or public servant – she was Fraser and Marian Robinson’s daughter.
The Robinsons lived in a brick bungalow on the South Side of Chicago. Fraser was a pump operator for the Chicago Water Department, and despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at a young age, he hardly ever missed a day of work. Marian stayed home to raise Michelle and her older brother Craig, skillfully managing a busy household filled with love, laughter, and important life lessons.
A product of Chicago public schools, Mrs. Obama studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she later met the man who would become the love of her life.
After a few years, Mrs. Obama decided her true calling was working with people to serve their communities and their neighbors. She served as assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago’s City Hall before becoming the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares youth for public service.
In 1996, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago with a vision of bringing campus and community together. As Associate Dean of Student Services, she developed the university’s first community service program, and under her leadership as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center, volunteerism skyrocketed.
Promoting Service and working with young people has remained a staple of her career and her interest. Continuing this effort now as First Lady, Mrs. Obama recently launched the Let’s Move! campaign to bring together community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses, moms and dads in a nationwide effort to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity. Let’s Move! has an ambitious but important goal: to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.
Let’s Move! will give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help our kids to be more physically active, and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of our country.
As First Lady, Mrs. Obama looks forward to continuing her work on the issues close to her heart — supporting military families, helping working women balance career and family, encouraging national service, promoting the arts and arts education, and fostering healthy eating and healthy living for children and families across the country.
Michelle and Barack Obama have two daughters: Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8. Like their mother, the girls were born on the South Side of Chicago.