Wednesday, 18 April 2018


Former US first lady Barbara Bush dies aged 92

She was the wife of one president and mother of another, but Mrs Bush was also "the rock of a family dedicated to public service".

Image:Barbara Bush, pictured in 2005, listening to son George W Bush

Former US first lady Barbara Bush has died aged 92, a family spokesperson has said.

Jim McGrath, spokesman for former president George HW Bush, said Mrs Bush had died on Tuesday.

Mrs Bush was the wife of the former president, who served from 1989 to 1993, and also the mother of George W Bush - who was president from 2001 to 2009.

The family's statement called her a "relentless proponent of family literacy".

George P. Bush

My grandmother's entire life was focused on others. For my grandfather, she was his top adviser and confidante. For her family, she was a steady, loving and guiding hand. And for her country, she was an inspiration and an example for all. 1/2
12:46 AM - Apr 18, 2018
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She was one of four children, born Barbara Pierce in the affluent New York suburb of Rye on 8 June 1925.

Her father was president of publishing company McCall's, but her mother died in a car accident in 1949.

She was 16 when she met George HW Bush at a school dance and the two married three years later in 1945, while he was on leave from wartime service.

She often said: "I married the first man I ever kissed", and together their 73-year marriage was the longest of any presidential couple.

Image:Former president George HW Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush in 2015

Mrs Bush's plainspoken manner and lack of pretence at times made her more popular than her husband.

"What you see with me is what you get. I'm not running for president - George Bush is," she told the Republican convention in 1988.

Image:George W Bush (centre) with his parents George HW and Barbara in 1955

She had five children and proved fiercely loyal to her husband.

Mr Bush, in turn, was fiercely loyal to her, describing himself as a "nervous wreck" when she had open-heart surgery in 2009.

After she regained consciousness, he battled back tears of relief, telling reporters about the "reunion of two people who love each other".

Bill Clinton

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.
12:56 AM - Apr 18, 2018
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Despite being the wife of one president and mother of another, she drew the line at the prospect of a third Bush - Jeb - running for the White House in 2016, saying: "We've had enough Bushes."

In a tribute to his mother, Jeb Bush said: "I'm exceptionally privileged to be the son of George Bush and the exceptionally gracious, gregarious, fun, funny, loving, tough, smart, graceful woman who was the force of nature known as Barbara Bush."

Former president George W Bush said after his mother's death that the family's "souls are settled because we know hers was".

He described Mrs Bush as a "fabulous lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love and literacy to millions".

She had "kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end", he said.

Image:Barbara Bush was married to one president and mother to another

Barack Obama, who succeeded George W Bush as president, described Mrs Bush as "the rock of a family dedicated to public service".

He added: "We'll always be grateful to Mrs Bush for the generosity she showed to us throughout our time in the White House, but we're even more grateful for the way she lived her life - as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit."

Bill Clinton, who took on the role of president after George HW Bush, called Mrs Bush a "remarkable woman" who "had grit & grace, brains & beauty".

In a statement posted on current president Donald Trump's Twitter page, the White House said: "As a wife, mother grandmother, military spouse and former first lady, Mrs Bush was an advocate of the American family.

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