Former first lady Barbara Bush, wife to 41st president George H.W. Bush and mother of 43rd president George W. Bush, died peacefully on Tuesday in her Houston, Texas home. She was 92.
“A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the age of 92,” read a statement issued by the Office of George H. W. Bush. “She is survived by her husband of 73 years, President George H. W. Bush; five children and their spouses; 17 grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; and her brother, Scott Pierce. She was preceded in death by her second child, Pauline Robinson ‘Robin’ Bush, and her siblings Martha Rafferty and James R. Pierce.”
On Sunday, Bush’s spokesman, Jim McGrath, released a statement to The Associated Press confirming that the former FLOTUS had opted to forgo additional medical care following a recent series of hospitalizations. A cause of death has not been disclosed.
During her White House stint, FLOTUS founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, a non-profit organization that seeks to eliminate the generational cycle of illiteracy among disadvantaged children and their parents. She appeared on a 1990 episode of Sesame Street in support of the cause:
Bush is one of two first ladies — the other being Abigail Adams — who was also the mother of a president. She was last on the campaign trail back in 2016 when her son, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, sought the Republican nomination for president. She spoke out against then-candidate Donald Trump at the time, telling CBS News that she didn’t understand how women could vote for him after he made inflammatory remarks about then-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Neither she nor her husband attended Trump’s January 2017 inauguration, with both citing health concerns as the reason for their absence.
Bush and 41 were married for 73 years, the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. She leaves behind her husband, five children (including W. and Jeb), 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.