18 April 2018
The former US first lady, mother of a president and literacy campaigner has died at the age of 92.
Barbara Bush was born in New York City in 1925. She met her husband George Herbert Walker Bush at the age of 16. “I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children they just about throw up,” she later quipped.
Their first son, future president George Walker Bush, was born in July 1946. The couple would have 6 children together in total.
Mrs Bush launched herself into political life after her husband entered Congress in the 1960s. She worked for various Republican women’s organisations and was a fierce advocate of civil rights.
She campaigned to improve adult and child literacy, putting her weight behind organisations working in the field. Here she is pictured in 1986 with her family, who dubbed her “The Silver Fox”.
Once in the White House she raised money for literacy programmes and made regular radio appearances. She supported gun control and expressed relatively pro-choice views on abortion.
But life outside the White House came as something of a shock. She realised she hadn’t cooked for 12 years and her driving ability left a lot to be desired.
Soon she had a new candidate to support. Here, she reacts to her son George W Bush receiving the Republican nomination in 2000. He would serve two terms as the nation’s 43rd president.
George W Bush has paid tribute to his mother’s sense of humour. He said she recently joked to a doctor: “You want to know why George W is the way he is? Because I drank and smoked while I was pregnant with him.”
A private funeral will be held in Houston, Texas on Saturday. First Lady Melania Trump will attend the ceremony. Here, Barbara Bush is seen alongside former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter.