Barbara Bush dies at 92.
The former First Lady and former President George H.W. Bush had the longest-lasting marriage in presidential history – 73 years. As the Bush family matriarch, Barbara Bush dropped out of college to follow her childhood sweetheart – and kept following as he went from the House of Representatives to the United Nations, the Central Intelligence Agency, the office of Vice President and, finally, the White House.
Her son George W. Bush became the 43rd President of the United States, while another son, Jeb Bush, served as governor of Florida and unsuccessfully sought the presidency in 2016. In total, she had 6 children and 14 grandchildren.
Her husband, George H.W. Bush, was at Barbara’s side when she passed, George H.W. Bush’s chief of staff Jean Becker said in a statement. “He held her hand all day today and was at her side” when she died, the statement said.
In his own statement, her husband George Bush said, “Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end.”
She was a fierce advocate of civil rights and went against many of her husband’s Republican party supporters with her more liberal view on abortion rights.
In a statement from the White House, President Donald Trump said Mrs Bush would be long remembered for her devotion to country and family, “both of which she served unfailingly well”.
Barack and Michelle Obama described her as “the rock of a family dedicated to public service” and as “an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit”.
Another former US president, Bill Clinton, said Mrs Bush was “feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes”.
He said he and Hillary Clinton would “never forget the courtesy she and President Bush showed us”.
Mrs Bush was known for her snow-white hair and was dubbed “The Silver Fox” by her family.
She once dismissed speculation that she had influenced her husband during his time in the White House, saying: “I don’t fool around with his office and he doesn’t fool around with my household.”
Mrs Bush also sparked a debate on gender equality in 1990 with an address to the all-women Wellesley College.
She told graduates: “Who knows, somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse and I wish him well.”
George HW Bush, who served as the 41st US president, suffers from a form of Parkinson’s disease and uses a wheelchair.
It was recently announced that Mrs Bush had declined further medical treatment after a series of hospital visits, but the statement did not reveal the nature of her ailments.
She said she wanted to spend her last days in “comfort care” with her family.
Mrs Bush was born Barbara Pierce, the daughter of Marvin Pierce, publisher of McCall’s magazine. She grew up in Rye, New York.
May her soul rest in peace 😓
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