Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday evening at the age of 92.
Bush’s declining health was made known earlier this week in a statement by Jim McGrath, a family spokesman.
Statement by the Office of George H. W. Bush on the health of former First Lady Barbara Bush. pic.twitter.com/4csUS6IRKZ
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 15, 2018
“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 statement reads. “It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others.”
McGrath announced the death on Tuesday evening in another statement posted to Twitter.
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 17, 2018
Barbara Bush was born Barbara Pierce on June 8, 1925, in New York City. Her mother, Pauline Pierce, was the daughter of an Ohio Supreme Court justice, and her father, Marvin Pierce, was a distant descendant of the 14th president of the United States, Franklin Pierce.
Her strong familial ties to politics didn’t end there. Bush was the wife of the 41st President George H.W. Bush and the mother of the 43rd President, George W. Bush, making her the second woman in American history to have had a husband and a son elected President.
Barbara met George Bush when she was 16 at a Christmas dance at the Greenwich Country Club in 1941. George was 17 at the time and was ready to enlist in the Navy as soon as he graduate from Phillips Academy Andover. Barbara attended Smith College but dropped out during her sophomore year to marry George.
While she stayed at her husband’s side during his nearly 30-year political year, Bush was also active herself. She was the founder of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, a Florida based non-profit organization that seeks to improve literacy in the United States.
According to the foundation’s website, Bush firmly believed that issues such as “homelessness, crime, hunger, and drugs … would improve if more people could read, write, and comprehend.” Thanks to Bush’s love for literacy, her foundation has helped millions of parents and children across all 50 states.
“I chose literacy because I honestly believe that if more people could read, write, and comprehend, we would be that much closer to solving so many of the problems that plague our nation and our society,” she said during her commencement address to the Wellesley College class of 1990.
Politicians and citizens alike are expressing their thoughts and condolences on Twitter.
Our statement on the passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush: pic.twitter.com/MhTVYCL9Nj
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 18, 2018
So sad to see this vibrant, sassy, strong, kind, good humored, loving woman pass, but comforted by knowing what a robust and meaningful life our former First Lady Barbara Bush led. May God rest her soul and bless the entire Bush family — examples in what it means to serve.
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) April 18, 2018
A role model, a leader, and an inspiration to all. We all miss you Barbara Bush. Prayers to the Bush family. She was a light for everyone.
— Ayla Luers (@aluers90) April 18, 2018
Bush is survived by her husband of 73 years, George H.W.; sons Geroge W., Neil, Marvin, and Jeb; daughter, Dorothy Bush Koch; and 17 grandchildren.