|Lived:||June 8, 1925—April 17, 2018 (aged 92)|
|Career:||First lady of the United States, 1989-1993|
Second lady of the United States, 1981-1989
Barbara Pierce Bush was the wife of the 41st president of the United States, George H. W. Bush, and was the first lady from 1989-1993.
Bush was born in New York, New York, on June 8, 1925. She met George Bush at a dance when she was just 16; they married in 1945 while he was home on leave from his service in World War II. After the war, they moved to New Haven, Connecticut while he attended Yale University. After his graduation, they lived in Texas and California where he entered the oil business, eventually settling in Houston in 1959.
Mr. Bush's political career would take the family from Texas to Washington, D.C., New York City, back to Washington, China, Virginia, and back once again to Washington. Mrs. Bush campaigned actively for her husband, and became a popular figure and speaker on the campaign trail. At the 1988 Republican Convention, she was the first candidate's spouse to address the convention that nominated her husband. In 1990, she gave a commencement address at Wellesley College with Raisa Gorbachev, the wife of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, that has been widely praised. During her tenures as second lady and then first lady, she promoted literacy efforts, as well as addressing social problems such as homelessness, the elderly, hunger, AIDS and teenage pregnancy, and traveled the world with her husband on his official trips. As second lady, she spent 1,629 days and 1.3 million miles traveling, hosted 1,192 events and attended another 1,232 events. As first lady, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
After leaving the White House, Bush continued to advocate for a number of causes. She spoke at both the 2000 and 2004 Republican National Conventions, where her son George W. Bush was nominated for president, and campaigned during both of those elections. She also campaigned for her son Jeb Bush during his run for the 2016 presidential nomination.
Bush passed away on April 17, 2018.
Photo by Giulio Marcocchi, Getty Images.
Barbara Pierce Bush. (n.d.). Retrieved on July 22, 2020, from https://www.barbarapbush.com/biography and https://www.barbarapbush.com/bpb-timeline.
National First Ladies Library. (n.d.). First Lady Biography: Barbara Bush. Retrieved on July 22, 2020, from http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=42.
The White House. (n.d.). Barbara Pierce Bush. Retrieved on July 22, 2020, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/barbara-pierce-bush/.