Michelle Obama’s financial landscape has undergone a significant transformation since her tenure as the United States’ First Lady concluded. During her time in the White House, despite her considerable contributions, Michelle was not entitled to a salary. However, her departure from the role of First Lady has unlocked new avenues for financial prosperity.
Prior to her White House years, Michelle had already established herself as a high earner. Political news source Politico disclosed that in 2005, she earned a substantial $316,000, outpacing her husband’s income if one discounts his earnings from book sales. Her high-profile roles as a lawyer, associate dean at the University of Chicago, and vice president at the University of Chicago Medical Center were significant contributors to her earnings at that time.
Michelle Obama’s financial success has only amplified post-White House, with a staggering $65 million book deal signed with Penguin Random House in 2017, as reported by the Financial Times. This deal, which was also extended to Barack Obama, is one of the publishing industry’s most sizable advances ever recorded.
Michelle’s literary debut, “Becoming,” has seen spectacular sales, moving over 17 million copies by mid-2022. Her subsequent release, “The Light We Carry,” further cemented her status as a best-selling author.
Apart from her writing endeavors, Michelle Obama has become a sought-after public speaker, with her speaking engagements commanding substantial fees. The Daily Mail revealed that she earned a whopping $750,000 for a single speech at a German tech fair in September 2023, highlighting the intense demand for her oratory.
Additionally, the Obamas have ventured into multimedia production through a lucrative $50 million partnership with Netflix, established in 2018. Michelle, quoted by Variety, expressed her belief in storytelling’s power to inspire and open minds, indicating that this collaboration with Netflix aligns perfectly with their aspirations to share impactful narratives.