A little over a week ago, former US first lady Barbara Bush passed away at the age of 92. She was born on June 8 in New York City, New York.
She was the First Lady to President George H.W. Bush during his only term in office, from 1989-1993. Prior to her death, the two held, and still do, the record for the longest-lasting marriage by a United States president and first lady, at 73 years.
Born in 1925, soon before the Great Depression, she was born as the third child to Pauline Robinson and Marvin Pierce’s four total children. Her father was the president of a popular publishing company, while her mother was a homemaker and a chairman for a nonprofit corporation.
During childhood, Barbara was primarily raised in Rye, New York, alongside her parents and elder siblings Martha and James. She eventually ended up having a younger sibling, Scott.
Four times removed, she was a cousin to 14th U.S. President Franklin Pierce. Her family were Episcopalians.
During her early years, she enjoyed athletics, competing in various sports such as swimming, cycling and playing tennis.
At age 16 in the year 1942, while on a Christmas family vacation to Connecticut, she met George at a country club event. At the time, he was enrolled at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. After 18 months of dating, the two were engaged before he left as a Navy pilot in World War II.
As a selfless act, with the utmost respect and support for her husband, she decided to drop out of college.
At the time, she was a freshman student at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Two weeks later, after his return home from Japan, the two tied the knot on Jan. 6 of 1945.
The couple had six children, 14 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. At the time of her passing, she was previously seeking medical treatment, but then decided to no longer go through with treatments.
Her cause of death was attributed to complications of COPD, a disease where there’s an obstruction of airflow into the lungs.
She was buried next to her daughter Robin, who died at just 3 years old in 1953, due to leukemia.
In her later years, after her husband lost the 1994 presidential race, the two of them mainly resided in a private community in Houston. Her son George went on to become the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995-2000.
He eventually ran for office that same year, then began as the 43rd president, and succeeded as the successor to his father’s successor, Bill Clinton. George W. won both of his terms, while her fellow son Jeb became the 43rd Governor of Florida from 1999-2007.
Throughout her adulthood, Barbara was very charitable, as well as a fighter. She fought hard to help the homeless, as well as AIDs victims. She eventually started her own charity, the “Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.”
Many politicians and non-politicians immediately paid their respects to her and the Bush family, both online and/or in person, at her service a couple days later.
May she rest in peace.
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