Former US first lady Barbara Bush died 17 April 2018 at the age of 92, triggering an outpouring of praise for the matriarch of a Republican family once at the apex of American politics. She first met her husband-to-be at the age of 16 when she was a schoolgirl and he was a student at an elite preparatory school in Massachusetts. They married in 1945 while he was on leave from wartime service as a naval officer. The couple had six children. As first lady, from 1989 to 1993, she embraced the cause of universal literacy, and founded a foundation for family literacy.
“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,” said a statement from the office of George H.W. Bush. They were married for 73 years. Barbara Bush has long been considered the rock at the center of one of America’s most prominent political families, as the wife of a president and the mother to another — George W. Bush — and to Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor and onetime presidential aspirant.
Amongst her greatest achievements was recognizing the importance of literacy as a fundamental family value that requires nurturing and protection. She will be long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family, both of which she served unfailingly well. Barbara inspired us all to be the best version of ourselves. America’s longest-serving Republican senator. But we’re even more grateful for the way she lived her life — as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit.