Michelle Obama on How Mary Tyler Moore Inspired Her To Break the Mold

Reflections on the late, great star.

Mary Tyler Moore, who died Wednesday at the age of 80, was a pioneer for women. People all over the world are sharing tributes on social media, but perhaps one of the most poignant reflections on Moore’s legacy came from Michelle Obama in an interview with Variety in August 2016.

Obama told Variety that Moore helped her reimagine what roles for women could look like on and offscreen.

“She was one of the few single working women depicted on television at the time,” Obama told Variety. “She wasn’t married. She wasn’t looking to get married. At no point did the series end in a happy ending with her finding a husband — which seemed to be the course you had to take as a woman. But she sort of bucked that. She worked in a newsroom, she had a tough boss, and she stood up to him. She had close friends, never bemoaning the fact that she was a single. She was very proud and comfortable in that role.”

Image courtesy of Flickr

Obama said that when she was 10 she watched “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and thought, “‘You know what? Marriage is an option. Having a family is an option. And going to school and getting your education and building your career is another really viable option that can lead to happiness and fulfillment.”

Read the entire Variety interview here, and more about Mary Tyler Moore’s incredible legacy on NYT, People and Slate.