Excerpts from a new biography about former U.S. President Barack Obama, due to be released on May 9 have been released.
The 1,400-page book written by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David J. Garrow and titled Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama reveals that Obama proposed marriage twice to a woman other than Michelle prior to when he met her.
Obama, according to Garrow, continued to see Sheila Miyoshi Jager, the woman who he proposed marriage to, even after he met Michelle.
“Barack and Sheila had continued to see each other irregularly throughout the 1990-1991 academic year, notwithstanding the deepening of Barack’s relationship with Michelle Robinson. ‘I always felt bad about it,’ Sheila confessed more than two decades later,” Garrow said.
According to a review by People Magazine, the book said Obama and Sheila, who is now an Oberlin College professor, dated for 3 years in the mid-1980s adding that she turned his marriage proposal down in 1987, when she was 23, and he 25 after her parents told her she was too young to get married. The book said Obama’s political ambitions also put a strain on their relationship.
“I remember very clearly when this transformation happened, and I remember very specifically that by 1987, about a year into our relationship, he already had his sights on becoming president,” Sheila said.
Just days before he would depart for Harvard Law School — and when the relationship was already coming apart — Obama asked her to come with him and get married, “mostly, I think, out of a sense of desperation over our eventual parting and not in any real faith in our future,” Sheila explained to Garrow.
Obama met Michelle Robinson at the beginning of June 1989, when she was assigned by her top-flight Chicago law firm to mentor a him, a Harvard University law student and summer associate.
Barack was impressed and immediately told another lawyer at the firm, “My mentor is really hot,” Garrow writes. Michelle was less amused and batted away Barack’s advances, telling him it would “look bad” if she dated him. Her friend at the time, Kelly Jo MacArthur, told Garrow that Michelle was known for her “conservative morals.”
On June 30, 1989, Michelle relented and agreed to go on one date with Barack. Her reluctant verdict: “I liked him a lot. He was cute, and he was funny, and he was charming,” she later recalled.
Sheila came back to Obama’s life in early 1990 when she took a teaching fellowship at Harvard. “We continued to see each other occasionally. despite the deepening of Barack’s relationship with Michelle,” Sheila said.
Obama continued his long distance relationship with Michelle at the time as he made headlines across the country as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review in February 1990.
In June of the same year, he went back to Chicago for summer break – this time to move in with Michelle and her family.
Garrow however, did not mention the extent of Obama and Sheila’s friendship in that period but by spring of 1991, she met someone else and moved on. “As much as I loved him, I was relieved when our paths finally parted,” she told Garrow.
Obama proposed to Michelle on July 31, 1991 and they got married on October 3, 1992. He also informed Sheila about his engagement to Michelle in March 1992.
Obama Considered Having a Gay Relationship with his Professor
The book, according to The Sun UK, also claims that Obama even considered having a gay relationship with his openly gay professor, Lawrence Goldwyn.
“Obama wrote somewhat elusively to his first intimate girlfriend that he had thought about and considered gayness but ultimately decided that a same-sex relationship would be less challenging and demanding than developing one with the opposite sex.,” the book said.
Obama’s First Serious Girlfriend
The book also reveals Obama’s first serious girlfriend was Genevieve Cook, the daughter of an Australian diplomat, whom he fell for at a Christmas party in New York.
The book also claims that Obama and Cook, a 25-year old primary school teacher at the time (1983), slept with each other on their first date.
In the book Ms Cook describes how she slept with him on the night of their first date. She wrote in a journal she kept of their “passionate” love making, adding that it had all felt “very inevitable”.
Genevieve said that Obama had taken cocaine in his early 20s with friends from Occidental College in Los Angeles. He has previously written about trying the drug when he was a teenager.
She however said he didn’t take as much as others, “For every five lines that somebody did, he would have done half,” she said.
She also recalled the dinner date at the apartment he shared with two others.
She said: “We went and talked in his bedroom. And then I spent the night. It all felt very inevitable.”
Photo Credit: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
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