According to a new biography of Barack Obama titled “Rising Star,” the 44th president of the United States asked another woman to marry him before Michelle — not once, but twice. The book features details from an interview with Sheila Miyoshi Jager, Obama’s ex-girlfriend who is now a professor at Oberlin College.
Jager, who lived with Obama in Chicago while he was working as a community organizer in the 1980s, told Garrow that Obama proposed to her while they were visiting her parents in 1986. Jager turned him down because her mother felt she was too young for marriage. She was 23 at the time and Obama was 25.
Their romance continued, but Jager says Obama’s political ambitions got in the way. Possessed by a sense that he was destined to a life in politics, and could even become the first African-American president, she says race soon cast a shadow over their relationship.
After his first year at Harvard, Obama returned to Chicago as a summer associate at a prestigious local law firm. There he met Michelle Robinson, the future first lady and an employee at the firm, the report said.