Barbara Bush

First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993

Barbara Pierce Bush (June 8, 1925 – April 17, 2018) was an American literacy advocate who served as the first lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993 as the wife of the 41st president of the United States, George H. W. Bush. She was also the second lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989 when her husband was vice president.

Barbara Bush
Official portrait, 1989
First Lady of the United States
In role
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byNancy Reagan
Succeeded byHillary Clinton
Second Lady of the United States
In role
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
Vice PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byJoan Mondale
Succeeded byMarilyn Quayle
Personal details
Barbara Pierce

(1925-06-08)June 8, 1925
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 17, 2018(2018-04-17) (aged 92)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Resting placeGeorge Bush Presidential Library
Political partyRepublican
EducationSmith College

Early life change

Bush was born at NewYork–Presbyterian Queens in Flushing, Queens on New York. Her parents were Pauline Robinson (1896-1949) and her husband, Marvin Pierce (1893-1969). Her mother died in a car accident. Her ancestor Thomas Pierce, an early New England colonist, was also an ancestor of Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States. She is a fourth cousin, four times removed of Franklin Pierce.[1]

Bush spent her early childhood in Rye, New York. She began her studies in a school there. Then she studied in a boarding school at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina.

Family change

At a dance party, Barbara met George H. W. Bush. At that time she was 17 years old, and George Bush was a student at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. They got engaged just before Bush went to fight in World War II. He was a torpedo bomber of the United States Navy. George named three of his airplanes after Barbara: Barbara, Barbara II, and Barbara III. In December 1944, Bush returned to the USA on leave. Two weeks later, they married on January 6, 1945. After World War II, Bush graduated from the Yale University. They moved to Midland, Texas. In 1953, the Bushes' daughter Robin died of leukemia. On April 13, 2013, she became a great-grandmother after her granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager gave birth to a daughter.

Children change

Bush had six children:

  1. George W. Bush (born July 6, 1946) 43rd President of the United States and 46th Governor of Texas
  2. Pauline Robinson "Robin" Bush (December 20, 1949 - October 11, 1953, died of leukemia);
  3. John Ellis "Jeb" Bush (born February 11, 1953); 43rd Governor of Florida
  4. Neil Mallon Bush (born January 22, 1955);
  5. Marvin Pierce Bush (born October 22, 1956)
  6. Dorothy Bush Koch (born August 18, 1959).

Personal life change

Over the years, the Bush family moved 29 times. George H. W. Bush had become a successful person and had founded Zapata Corporation. He had a variety of government jobs. George H. W. Bush became the 41st President of the United States in 1989 and served until 1993.

While First Lady change

Bush with children and White House staff in the China Room. The first lady is trying to make a paw print of her pet Millie for a holiday card.

Bush became the First Lady of the United States when her husband was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She made a paw print of her pet Millie for a holiday card in 1991.

After being First Lady change

After her husband's presidency, they moved to Houston, Texas. They also had a big house in Kennebunkport, Maine.

On March 18, 2003, two days before the beginning of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when her son George W. Bush was president, ABC's Good Morning America asked her about her family's television viewing habits. She replied:

I watch none. He [former President George H.W. Bush] sits and listens and I read books, because I know perfectly well that, don't take offense, that 90 percent of what I hear on television is supposition, when we're talking about the news. And he's not, not as understanding of my pettiness about that. But why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or that or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that, and watch him suffer.[2]

George and Barbara Bush attend the christening ceremony for the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77 6), October 2006
Former First Lady Mrs. Barbara Bush at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2012

While visiting a Houston relief center for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Bush told the radio program Marketplace,

Almost everyone I've talked to says, 'We're gonna move to Houston.' What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas... Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality, and so many of the people in the arenas here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this (as she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.[3][4]

The remarks were controversial.[5] In 2006, it was revealed that Barbara Bush donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Bush–Clinton Katrina Fund on the condition that the charity do business with an educational software company owned by her son Neil Bush.[6]

In November 2008, Bush was hospitalized for abdominal pains. On November 25, a dime-sized hole in her small intestine was found by surgeons. She was released on December 2, 2008 and was reported to be doing well.[7]

Bush underwent aortic valve replacement surgery on March 4, 2009; she was released from the hospital on March 13, 2009.[8]

In a November 2010 interview with Larry King, Bush was asked about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Bush remarked, "I sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful, and I think she's very happy in Alaska, and I hope she'll stay there."[9] Palin responded, "I don't want to, sort of, concede that we have to get used to this kind of thing, because I think the majority of Americans don't want to put up with the blue-bloods – and I say it with all due respect, because I love the Bushes – but, the blue-bloods, who want to pick and choose their winners, instead of allowing competition to pick and choose the winners."[10]

Barbara Bush was portrayed by Ellen Burstyn in the 2008 movie W..

Health and death change

In November 2008, Bush was hospitalized for abdominal pains. She had surgery on her small intestine.[11] Bush underwent aortic valve replacement surgery in March 2009.[12]

On December 31, 2013, Bush was hospitalized at The Methodist Hospital, in Houston, Texas, for a "respiratory related issue". She was in stable condition and received a visit from her family, according to the Bush family's statement to the media. She returned in 2010 for routine testing.[13] On January 4, 2014, Bush was released from the hospital. It was announced she had been suffering from pneumonia. She said, "I cannot thank the doctors and nurses at Houston Methodist enough for making sure I got the best treatment and got back to George and our dogs as quickly as possible." [14]

On April 15, 2018 it was reported by a source close to the Bush family that Barbara was in "failing health". She decided to have only "comfort care", which is placing end-of life patients under comfort care until they die.[15] She chose to be at home with her family rather than go back to the hospital for treatment.[16] She suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure (COPD) and Grave's disease.[17] Bush died on April 17, 2018 in Houston of complications from COPD and congestive heart failure at the age of 92.[18][19] She was buried at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas on April 21, 2018.[20]

References change

  1. Merrill, Deane Whitney (2000). "Correction - First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush". Archived from the original on 2013-01-26. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  2. "Barbara Bush 'Beautiful Mind' Quote". Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  3. "Barbara Bush: Things Working Out 'Very Well' for Poor Evacuees from New Orleans". Editor and Publisher. September 5, 2005. Archived from the original on 10 April 2007. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  4. "Marketplace". American Public Media. September 5, 2005. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2014. Audio clip.
  5. "Barbara Bush comments on survivors spark outrage". Sydney Morning Herald. September 7, 2005. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  6. CYNTHIA LEONOR GARZA, Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle (2006-03-23). "Katrina funds earmarked to pay for Neil Bush's software program – Houston Chronicle". Retrieved 2014-01-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. "Former First Lady Barbara Bush In Hospital". Fox News. 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
  8. Former first lady Barbara Bush released from hospital. CNN (2009-03-13)
  9. Snyder, Whitney (November 20, 2010). "Barbara Bush Jabs Sarah Palin: 'I Hope She Stays' In Alaska (VIDEO)". Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  10. "44 – Palin fires back at 'blue-blood' Barbara Bush". 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  11. "Former First Lady Barbara Bush In Hospital". Fox News Channel. April 7, 2010. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  12. Former first lady Barbara Bush released from hospital. CNN (March 13, 2009)
  13. News, U. S. "Former first lady Barbara Bush hospitalized for 'respiratory related issue'". U.S. News. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  14. Hamedy, Sama (January 4, 2014). "Former First Lady Barbara Bush released from Houston hospital". Los Angeles Times.
  15. Domonoske CAMILA DOMONOSKE, Camila (2018-04-18). "Former First Lady Barbara Bush In Failing Health, Not Seeking Further Treatment". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  16. Jamie Gangel (April 15, 2018). "Exclusive: Barbara Bush in failing health". CNN. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  17. Graczyk MICHAEL GRACZYK, Michael (2018-04-15). "Spokesman: Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing health". Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  18. Hutchinson, B. and Nestel, M. (2018). Former first lady Barbara Bush dies at age 92. [online] ABC News. Available at: [Accessed April 17, 2018].
  19. PM, Joe Difazio On 4/17/18 at 7:53 (17 April 2018). "Barbara Bush is dead at 92 after struggling with several illnesses". Newsweek.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. Schallhorn, Kaitlyn (18 April 2018). "Barbara Bush's funeral attended by Melania Trump, Clintons, others". Fox News.