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Michelle Obama€s Brother Pens Book on Family

Tonya Pendleton | 4/22/2010, 1:15 p.m.


Aside from Barack Obama, the man who knows Michelle Obama best is her older brother, Craig Robinson. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago or any poverty-stricken urban neighborhood can be challenging but apparently the Robinson household was committed to success.

Not only did both Robinson children attend Ivy League schools, Michelle of course, is now married to the President of the United States.

In his new book €A Game of Character: A Family Journey from Chicago€s Southside to the Ivy League and Beyond,€ Robinson details the family€s evolution from the middle class to the stratosphere. Their mother, Marian Robinson, writes the book€s foreward.


Though he€s long since deceased, Fraser Robinson, the patriarch of the Robinson household is fondly remembered as the family€s historian, something that now falls to Craig. In the book, he details how his parents€ €playbook€ helped keep him and Michelle focused on education despite the obvious distractions that surrounded them. That they did this living in a one-bedroom apartment (the siblings shared the bedroom, divided by a partition) is nothing short of amazing.

€Family was everything. It was a constant and dominant strand woven into all of my childhood memories,€ Robinson wrote in the book. €Michelle was the head of my fan club . . . Being known as €Craig Robinson€s little sister€ was a badge of honor that she wore well into our college years. Of course, later on the tables would turn and I would have the honor of being known as €Michelle Obama€s big brother!€€

Robinson, now a basketball coach at Oregon State University, attended Princeton University where he became a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year. After a career in finance, Robinson returned to his first love, basketball, and worked his way up through the coaching ranks, first at Northwestern University and then at Brown University. Now he€s in the rebuilding stages at Oregon State.

Along with memories of his family and the lessons they imparted on him, Robinson shares his first meeting with Barack Obama as well as the basketball game he was famously asked to play with him. He says it was at the behest of his sister, who wanted to know if character could be determined by a basketball game. When Robinson played with him and gave his game the thumbs up, Michelle moved forward with their relationship.

€The Game of Character€ is in stores now.