Former First Lady Barbara Bush Dies at 92

Amanda Cooper
April 17, 2018 - 8:15 pm

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

The national flag is at half-staff as the nation mourns the loss of Former First Lady Barbara Bush. She passed away today surrounded by close family and friends at her home in Houston TX. On Sunday, Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath issued a statement regarding her failing health as the family stood by her side offering support and love.  

"Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care." 

The former first lady lived an extraordinary life. She was born Barbara Pierce, June 8, 1925, in Rye, New York. Her father was the publisher of McCall's and Redbook magazines. She and George H.W. Bush married on Jan. 6, 1945 when she was 19 while he was a young naval aviator. After World War II, the Bushes moved to Texas where he went into the oil business. They had six children and were married longer than any presidential couple in American history.

She is one of only two first ladies who was also the mother of a president. Eight years after she and her husband left the White House, Mrs. Bush stood with her husband as their son George W. was sworn in as the 43rd president.

She leaves a rich legacy and is known for her white hair and triple-strand fake pearl necklace. 
Her pearls sparked a national fashion trend when she wore them to her husband's inauguration in 1989. The pearls became synonymous with Bush, who later said she selected them to hide the wrinkles in her neck. The candid admission only bolstered her common sense and down-to-earth public image.

Along with her memoirs, she's the author of "C. Fred's Story" and "Millie's Book," based on the lives of her dogs. Proceeds from the books benefited adult and family literacy programs. During her White House years, she created The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy with the goal of improving the lives of disadvantaged Americans by boosting literacy among parents and their children. 

Barbara Bush is survived by six children, fourteen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.