Former First Lady Barbara Bush has passed away at the age of 92.
On Sunday, many of the major news outlets reported that she had once again fallen ill and had declined to receive any life-saving efforts. Instead, she was said to have been receiving care in an effort to keep her as comfortable as possible.
On Tuesday, Barbara Bush passed away at her home in Houston surrounded by her family and loved ones.
Mrs. Bush met her husband-to-be when she was just 16 years old, and they were married less than 2 years later. Together they moved more than two dozen times over the course of their married life, and they had 6 children together. Mrs. Bush was an essential part of her husband, George H.W. Bush’s, political career and she has always been his fiercest defender – particularly when he lost a bruising nomination fight against eventual President Ronald Reagan in 1980. In fighting for her family, both personally and politically, Mrs. Bush became only the 2nd woman to see both her husband and her son become the President of the United States (Abigail Adams was the first).
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 18, 2018
While Mrs. Bush, was usually a boon to her family’s political hopes, there were moments when she cost them votes as well.
She was a fierce proponent of women’s rights and she spoke openly about equality, but she hurt her husband’s reputation among conservatives with her support of abortion. Years later, when her son Jeb was considering a run for the White House, Mrs. Bush inadvertently made him the butt of many a late-night joke when she said that “We’ve had enough Bushes” in the White House. Later, when Jeb finally decided to run she changed her tune saying, “I think he’ll be a great president.”
Barbara Bush was universally admired for her forthrightness and ability to put people at ease. Our hearts go out to the Bush family at the loss of this wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and to the country for the loss of this model First Lady. pic.twitter.com/gPVEM3ycHt
— IWF (@IWF) April 18, 2018
"Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps and preside over the White House as the president's spouse. I wish him well," Barbara Bush said in 1990. The former first lady is remembered for strength and humor. https://t.co/GRAzEkVq36 pic.twitter.com/5tPQ1VsXTH
— CNN (@CNN) April 18, 2018
While Mrs. Bush may have had her controversies, she’ll mostly be remembered as woman of class and culture who epitomized what a First Lady should act like.
With her husband as vice president in the 1980s, Bush adopted literacy as a cause, raising awareness and eventually launching the nonprofit Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. After George H.W. Bush’s presidency, he and Barbara raised more than $1 billion for literacy and cancer charities.
“I chose literacy because I honestly believe that if more people could read, write, and comprehend, we would be that much closer to solving so many of the problems that plague our nation and our society,” she said.
A writer, her books include an autobiography and one about post-White House life. Her children’s book about their dog, Millie, and her puppies written during her White House years was, as were her other books, a bestseller.
A First Lady has the power to make people think. In 1989 Barbara Bush visited a Washington hospice where abandoned infants with the AIDS virus were being cared for. Some folks were ignorant and thought you could get AIDS from touching someone. Mrs. Bush hugged and kissed the kids pic.twitter.com/V2w41XkXlR
— West Wing Reports (@WestWingReport) April 17, 2018
President Bush’s (the elder) staff released the following messages:
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 17, 2018
Jean Becker, chief of staff at the Office of George H. W. Bush, gave this update on the 41st President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/pjOKi3szVc
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 18, 2018
President George W. Bush also left a message praising his mother and memorializing her life.
“Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end,” George W. Bush said. “I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”
My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. 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. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.
Many others wanted to chime in with something to say regarding Mrs. Bush’s passing:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman. She had grit & grace, brains & beauty. She was fierce & feisty in support of her family & friends, her country & her causes. She showed us what an honest, vibrant, full life looks like. Hillary and I mourn her passing and bless her memory.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) April 17, 2018
Rest In Peace Mrs. Barbara Bush.
You were a beautiful light in this world and I am forever thankful for your friendship. pic.twitter.com/yuZvQ7o8aH
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) April 17, 2018
Our statement on the passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush: pic.twitter.com/MhTVYCL9Nj
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 18, 2018
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 18, 2018
Statement from Bob McNair on the passing of First Lady Barbara Bush: pic.twitter.com/toLQqcet4W
— Texans PR (@TexansPR) April 18, 2018
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 18, 2018
“Just do the best you can.” We honor the life and contributions of Former First Lady Barbara Bush. pic.twitter.com/EsbLlW1EG6
— OprahWinfrey Network (@OWNTV) April 18, 2018