Sheila Miyoshi Jager was once Barack Obama’s girlfriend, but now the college professor is a viral hit as her pictures spread across the internet in the wake of a new book about the former president.
Jager, who is now a professor at Oberlin College in Ohio, dated Obama in the mid-1980s, when he was finishing college and eventually heading to Harvard to become a lawyer. Jager shared her story with author David Garrow, who wrote the biography Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, noting that the future president actually proposed to her — twice, to be precise — but that her family had reservations about his career prospects.
Jager turned him down, but Barack Obama asked her to marry him once more, the Telegraph reported.
“The couple stayed together but in the subsequent years, she said their relationship became subsumed by Mr Obama’s political ambitions.”
“Just days before departing for Harvard Law School Mr Obama again asked Ms Jager to marry him, but, she said, mostly out of ‘a sense of desperation’ that their relationship was ending.”
“It was at Harvard that Mr Obama met Michelle Robinson, the woman who would become America’s first lady.”
As Cleveland.com reported, the biography went on to describe how Barack Obama and Sheila Miyoshi Jager drifted apart over the course of that year, when Obama started to grapple with issues of his race and identity. Though it was a period that would define Obama’s career going forward, it was a difficult time to maintain a relationship.
“The book describes Obama and Jager’s relationship deteriorating the next year, as Obama became more serious about his political ambitions. Those ambitions coincided with Obama, who was raised by a white American mother, beginning to increasingly identify with his father’s African heritage, Garrow wrote in his book. Jager is of Dutch and Japanese ancestry.”
Sheila Miyoshi Jager also revealed that she and Barack Obama continued seeing each other the next year, even after Barack and Michelle had started dating.
In the wake of the revelations, pictures of Barack Obama’s former girlfriend have gone viral as people search the internet to see exactly what Sheila Miyoshi Jager looks like.
— Susie Bowser (@suzarella2) May 4, 2017
While Barack Obama quite obviously went on to have a successful career, his former girlfriend made a name for herself as well — albeit on a much smaller scale. Jager went to receive her doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1994 and has published a number of books about Korean and East Asian history, Cleveland.com noted.
The new biography about Barack Obama comes at a time when the former president is back in the spotlight. After spending several weeks out of the country on vacation after Donald Trump’s inauguration. Obama has reportedly opted against the quiet post-presidential life that George W. Bush and many others have taken and instead is returning to the spotlight.
That has come with some controversy, including criticism for a speech to Wall Street that is netting him $400,000. As USA Today reported, that has prompted Congress to consider coming after his pension.
“[Rep Jason] Chaffetz and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, the sponsor of the companion Senate bill, say they will re-introduce the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act this month. The bill would cap presidential pensions at $200,000, with another $200,000 for expenses. But those payments would be reduced dollar-for-dollar once their outside income exceeds $400,000.”
As the pictures of Sheila Miyoshi Jager spread online, Barack Obama’s former girlfriend appears to be taking a step away from the spotlight. Her professional page on the Oberlin College website has been taken down, and a spokesperson at the college told Cleveland.com that she would not be granting interviews.
[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]