Obama, Michelle ink book deal with Penguin Random House

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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama kiss as they prepare to greet President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania to the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2017. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Former president Barack Obama and Michelle have signed with Penguin Random House to publish their books, the publishing house announced on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon, Michelle Obama made one of her first public appearances since leaving the White House on Jan. 20.

She said in a Twitter post, “Always love visiting DC schools. Thank you for hosting me today @BallouSTAY. Stories of students #reachinghigher continue to inspire me.”

According to a staffer, Michelle Obama “surprised 14 students at Ballou STAY (School To Aid Youth) High School in Washington, D.C.” and spoke with them for more than an hour about “the importance of pursuing higher education and finding their passion.”

One of her initiatives was “Reach Higher,” a program aimed at encouraging disadvantaged students to pursue post high-school education.

Obama is the author of two best-sellers, and any book deal will likely be worth millions of dollars, especially since it is bundled with a book from Michelle Obama.

Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle said in a statement, “We are very much looking forward to working together with President and Mrs. Obama to make each of their books global publishing events of unprecedented scope and significance.”

Some of the money the former first couple earn from their book will go to their Obama Foundation, which is overseeing the fundraising for the construction and endowment of their Obama Center in Chicago.

Other portions of the money they are paid for their books will go to other unnamed charities.

“Consistent with their past practice, the Obamas also plan to donate a significant portion of their author proceeds to charity, including the Obama Foundation,” Penguin Random House said in a release.

The publishers acquired world publication rights “for two books, to be written by President and Mrs. Obama respectively. Terms of the agreement, in which the authors were represented by Robert Barnett and Deneen Howell of Williams & Connolly, were not disclosed,” Penguin Random House said.

Obama has used Barnett, a Waukegan native, to negotiate prior book deals.

No release date for the books was announced.

“In support of the mission of The Obama Foundation and Penguin Random House’s own commitment to social responsibility, the company will donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a longstanding Penguin Random House non-profit partner and the Washington, DC-based partner for the 2016 White House digital education initiative, Open eBooks.”

The former president and first lady moved from the White House to a home in northwest Washington, remaining in the city so daughter Sasha can remain in her high school.

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