From Lawyer To First Lady: Here's How Michelle Obama Earned A $70M Net Worth
Photo Credit: Marla Aufmuth
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From Lawyer To First Lady: Here's How Michelle Obama Earned A $70M Net Worth

Michelle Obama is nothing if not a legend.

According to Forbes, she has “been busy cementing her legacy as an advocate for the arts, education, and, above all, nutrition. Among the initiatives from her eight-year stint as First Lady is Let’s Move, a nationwide campaign to combat childhood obesity, which included revamping school lunches, and the Partnership for a Healthier America, which will remain in effect after the Obamas leave the White House. Obama’s Turnaround Arts program, which brings art instruction to underperforming schools, will also continue, under the mantle of the Kennedy Center. But perhaps her most lasting legacy is, by appearance at least, the smallest: the label attached to food packaging.”

But more than being a legend as a First Lady, Michelle Obama is an accomplished lawyer and public speaker. She’s an Ivy League graduate — a Princeton University alumnus who graduated cum laude — and an advocate for Black women.

And according to Celebrity Net Worth, Michelle Obama has an estimated net worth of $70 million.

Let’s take a look at all the ways America’s favorite First Lady makes her money.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from various online sources.

Speaking Fees

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Michelle Obama can command quite a hefty paycheck for her speaking fees. According to The Grio, after she and Barack Obama left the White House, she netted $200,000 for her first booking.

Best-Selling Book

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In 2018, Michelle Obama released her memoir, “Becoming.”

The book sold 1.4 million copies in its first week, and in November 2020, the book had sold more than 14 million copies worldwide, according to The New York Times.

Spotify Deal

Photo Credit: Spotify

As AfroTech previously reported, the Obamas teamed up with Spotify for a multi-year podcast deal back in 2019.

The multi-year deal, through Higher Ground Audio, was said to be an offshoot of the broader production company that focuses on podcasts.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether, and through Spotify, we can share those stories with the world,” Michelle Obama said in a statement.

Netflix Deal

Photo Credit: Netflix

In 2018, Variety reported that Barack and Michelle Obama signed a Netflix production deal. Although it wasn’t clear how much the deal was worth, AfroTech previously reported that some of their productions have been huge successes. One of the biggest successes includes “We The People” which was distributed through Netflix. Similar to the “Schoolhouse Rock” vein, “We The People” “combines music and animation to educate a new generation of young Americans about the power of the people,” per the show’s official description on the Netflix site.

Real Estate

Photo Credit: Realtor.com

In August 2019, Barack and Michelle Obama made headlines when they purchased a “massive” estate in Martha’s Vineyard, MA. The estate, which boasts nearly 7,000-square-feet, offers seven bedrooms and eight and a half bathrooms. The Obamas were renting the property for the summer from Boston Celtics chief Wyc Grousbeck, but they loved it so much that they ended up buying it. The ultimate sale price, according to the real estate listing, was $14.85 million.

Other Business Deals

Photo Credit: Joe Raedle

As AfroTech previously reported, Michelle Obama has teamed up with several celebrities and companies to get involved in various business deals. She started the #PromChallenge to encourage voter registration, and teamed up with DJ D-Nice to host a voter registration drive. She was even inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame alongside NASA’s own Katherine Johnson.