Barbara Bush, former first lady, literacy activist, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother had sadly passed away today at the age of 92. Bush was the second woman (behind Abigail Adams) in American history to have both a husband and a son elected President. When her surviving husband, George H.W. Bush, was elected president, she fought hard for literacy in schools and families all across America.
According to the New York Times, the former first lady passed away at her home in Houston, Texas.
Bush was born in New York on a summer day in 1925. She met George H.W. Bush when she was just 16 at a school dance and they fell in love immediately. Over the course of their marriage, they had six children including a daughter, Robin who passed away from childhood leukemia. The strong matriarch raised her family in Texas in the '50's and '60's, holding down the fort while her husband was busy with his successful political career. As he rose through the ranks from Texas representative to CIA director, she was there to support him every step of the way.
When her husband was elected President of the United States (from 1989 to 1993), she was always by his side and took up literacy as her own special cause. Bush founded the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and used to host a radio program in which she would read stories for children as well as discuss important issues concerning literacy.
After the Bushes left the White House, she was a strong force behind her sons, George W. and Jeb's desire for their respective positions in office. She earned the nickname of "The Enforcer" because of her tenacity and sharp wit. She would not hesitate to defend her husband and his causes and eventually served as an adviser to him.
As well as literacy, Bush staunchly promoted women's rights. When she felt strongly about a certain issue, she would stand up for the cause all the way. Such was the case when she announced that abortion should not be politicized when her husband was running for President even if that meant going against the Republican Party views.
Once, Bush addressed female graduates at Wellesley College by stating, "Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps and preside over the White House as the president's spouse. I wish him well."
Bush is survived by her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.