Former First Lady Barbara Bush dies at 92

Fmr. President George W. Bush: 'Our souls are settled because we know hers was'


HOUSTON – Former First Lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at the age of 92, the office of former President George H.W. Bush announced in a statement.

"She is survived by her husband of 73 years, President George H.W. Bush; five children and their spouses; 17 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and her brother, Scott Pierce," the statement read. "She was preceded in death by her second child, Pauline Robinson "Robin" Bush, and her siblings Martha Rafferty and James R. Pierce."

The former first lady's funeral schedule will be announced "as soon as is practical," the statement read.

A family statement Sunday had said Mrs. Bush had decided to terminate medical treatment for assorted ailments and would seek comfort therapy instead. 

The snowy-haired Mrs. Bush was one of only two first ladies who was also the mother of a president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.

Mrs. Bush's plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband. She brought a grandmotherly style to buttoned-down Washington, often appearing in her trademark fake pearl chokers and displaying no vanity about her white hair and wrinkles.

She married George H.W. Bush in 1945. They had six children and were married longer than any presidential couple in American history.

President Donald Trump praised the former first lady in a statement as an "advocate of the American family."

"My dear mother has passed on at age 92," former President George W. Bush said in a statement. "Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions.

"To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I'm a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes."

Former presidential hopeful and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took to social media after the public announcement of his mother's death.

"Columba and I join every member of the Bush family in offering our sincere gratitude for the outpouring of love and support for my Mom in recent days, and throughout her remarkable life," he wrote. "I'm exceptionally privileged to be the son of George Bush and the exceptionally gracious, gregarious, fun, funny, loving, tough, smart, graceful woman who was the force of nature known as Barbara Bush. Thank you for your prayers, and we look forward to celebrating and honoring her life and contributions to our family and great nation in the coming days."

Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Mrs. Bush a remarkable woman with "grit and grace, brains and beauty."

The Clintons said in a statement that she was "fierce and feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes."

The former president said Mrs. Bush "showed us what an honest, vibrant, full life looks like. Hillary and I mourn her passing and bless her memory."

Clinton defeated Mrs. Bush's husband, George H.W. Bush, in the 1992 election.

Former President Lyndon Johnson's daughter, Lynda Johnson Robb, says she smiles when she thinks of Mrs. Bush, saying her candor was always refreshing and her grace was endless.

Robb said Mrs. Bush's love of family "never wavered and she was always a true patriot." She said her family was fortunate to know her and "will always be grateful for her service to our country."

Robb's sister, Lucy Baines Johnson, described Mrs. Bush as a "no nonsense" devoted mother to her family and the nation and was "wit, wisdom, honesty, and character on two feet."

Johnson said Mrs. Bush inspired "a `thousand points of light' of service to our country and was a beacon to us all. We loved her for who she was and for what we became because of her example. Our hearts go out to her remarkable family and to all who loved her as we did. The world is a poorer place without Barbara Bush."

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