Michelle Obama Makes Final Emotional Speech as First Lady

In her speech, Mrs. Obama encouraged young Americans to "lead by example" and to remain "hopeful."
6:08 | 01/07/17

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Transcript for Michelle Obama Makes Final Emotional Speech as First Lady
Michelle Obama delivered her final speech as first lady today with a mixture of grace, intelligence, and fierce maternal instincts. She leaves behind a ground-breaking legacy of hope and eninspiration. We take a look back. May I say for the last time officially, welcome to the white house. Reporter: A monumental moment from Michelle Obama today delivering her final speech as first lady of the United States of America. In this country plenty of folks, including me and my husband, we started out with very little. But with a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is possible. Even becoming president. Reporter: Emotionally reflecting on the long journey that led her family from humble beginnings to the white house. This country belongs to you. To all of you. From every background and walk of life. Reporter: From those first steps onto the world stage on election night in 2008 in Chicago, she struck a chord with so many, transfixed by a first lady who was unapologetically herself and never afraid to break the rules. Can I sleep overnight in the Lincoln bedroom? No, no. Reporter: Goofing off on "Kimmel." Showing off dancing skills on "Ellen." A college humor rap video. ??? encouraging kids to go to college. But it was always with a purpose. Michelle Obama brought personality to her platforms like no one before her. From the beginning, this princeton and harvard-educated lawyer maintained that her primary role in the white house would be mom in chief to her young daughters. She had these very young children coming into the white house and as she has said since, what am I doing with these babies? It is a very difficult role. Reporter: But she soon adopted causes that defined her as America's mom. Improving the lives of families all over the country. Michelle Obama! Reporter: A signature cause, fighting childhood obesity with her "Let's move" campaign. Spurring the country to get up and dance. Pushing healthy eating on young audiences. On shows like "Sesame street." I better get some breakfast right away. That's some healthy breakfast right there. That's my breakfast, wait, grover -- Reporter: A champion for higher education, pushing the disadvantaged to dream big and working globally to give more kids to access quality education. Her passion rooted in her own uniquely American story, growing up on the south side of Chicago. Her father's family from Georgetown, South Carolina, not far removed from slavery. Making the migration to Chicago as so many African-Americans did. Understanding that the way for his children to have a better life was a good education. And for her to be able to embody that was very, very important. Reporter: A world apart from her initiation into American royalty. ??? Reporter: But as the very first African-American first lady, she faced unique challenges. Something she addressed in a 2015 commencement at the historically black tuskegee university. The first time I was on a magazine cover, it was a cartoon drawing of me with a huge afro and a machine gun. That knocked me back a bit. Reporter: She talked about the burden of all the scrutiny on Oprah Winfrey. When you were labelled that angry black woman, was that one of the things that knocked you back a bit? That's one of the those things that you sort of think, dang, you don't even know me. I don't think there's any question but that the president and first lady were the targets of a great deal of racism. And I think that Michelle Obama handled it with grace. Reporter: Her grace on display in every aspect. Michelle Obama sparked a fashion revolution, combining tradition with flair, daring to be bold yet relatable. She was a first lady that wore converse sneakers to the white house Easter egg roll. She was a first lady that mixed high and low fashion. She was relatable. Reporter: While she shied away from political warfare in the past, this year she entered the fray with full force. Her speech at the democratic national convention perhaps eclipsing even the candidate herself. I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent black young women, playing with their dogs on the white house lawn. Reporter: And then, later in October, coming out strongly against remarks made in 2005 by Donald Trump. I can't believe that I'm saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women. And I have to tell you that I can't stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn't have predicted. Reporter: Her popularity and political promise has led many to question if she will ever run for office. A question she answered on CBS. Would you ever run for office? No. I have to ask you. No, no. No kind of office? No. Reporter: Now as the Obamas prepare to say good-bye, the first lady imploring Americans to never give up hope. Empower yourselves with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear. And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life. Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life. And I hope I've made you proud.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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