George Bush Presidential Library
  • Barbara Pierce Bush, born June 8, 1925, is the wife of George H.W. Bush, who served as president of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She is the mother six, including George W. Bush, who was president from 2001 to 2009, and Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida.
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  • Barbara Bush, shown here at age 7, is the third of four children, having been born in New York City to Marvin Pearce and Pauline Robinson Pierce. Her childhood was spent growing up in Rye, N.Y., where she attended public school before going to Rye Country Day School, a private institution.
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  • George and Barbara Bush were married in Rye, N.Y., Jan. 6, 1945. She met him at a dance during a break from boarding school. While he served overseas during Wold War II as a Navy pilot, the two wrote to each other faithfully. When he returned, they moved to New Haven, Conn., where he was a student at Yale.
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  • George and Barbara Bush pose with their children Neil, George W., Jeb and Marvin Bush in 1956. They lost a daughter, Pauline Robinson, to leukemia in 1953 when she was only 4 years old.
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  • Barbara Bush poses with her husband, George Herbert Walker Bush, during his campaign for Congress in the 1960s. The couple settled in Midland, Texas, and she was instrumental in helping his career in Republican politics. He was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in 1966.
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  • Barbara Bush accompanied her husband to Beijing when he was named chief of the United States Liaison Office in 1974. While in China, she studied the culture and the language, but the couple’s stay there did not last. President Ford asked George H.W. Bush to return to the States, where he was installed as the head of the CIA in 1976.
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  • Barbara Bush watches as her husband is sworn in as director of the CIA, Jan. 30, 1976, in Washington. Officiating is Baxter Stewart, and watching the ceremony are CIA's Vice Director Vernon Walters and President Gerald Ford.
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  • First lady Nancy Reagan signs a guestbook while Barbara Bush, President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush entertain the Bushes' golden cocker spaniel, C. Fred, in the vice president's residence, Feb. 23, 1981, in Washington. The two women were not close during their husbands’ time in office together, and she found her own voice when speaking about programs she championed, such as literacy.
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  • President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush spend time with their grandchildren, from left, Pierce, twins Barbara and Jenna, Marshall, Jeb Jr. and Sam, at their home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
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  • George H.W. Bush is sworn in as the 41st president of the United States by Chief Justice William Rehnquist outside the west front of the Capitol on Jan. 20, 1989. Barbara Bush holds a Bible. She took a traditional approach to her role as first lady. She was quoted as saying, “I don’t fool around with his office, and he doesn’t fool around with my household.”
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  • First lady Barbara Bush flashes a thumbs-up when asked by reporters how she feels after undergoing radiation treatment for Graves' disease, April 12, 1989. According to a family spokesman, she was briefly hospitalized after a "mild relapse" in 2010.
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  • First lady Barbara Bush poses with a baby for a 2-year-old with a toy camera at a hospice for children with AIDS. The image of her holding a child infected with HIV was published in newspapers around the world.
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  • Raisa Gorbachev, center, the wife of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, raises first lady Barbara Bush’s hands as the two are introduced at the Wellesley graduation ceremony in Wellesley, Mass., June 1, 1990. Bush’s speech, which touched on the desires that women at that time were seeking — a successful career and a family — was well received.
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  • Barbara Bush reads to children in the White House Library, July 24, 1990. A force in bringing national attention to illiteracy in the U.S., she established the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
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  • She had a sense of humor and showed it on occasion, returning the gesture of Denis Thatcher, U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s husband, and kissing his hand on her arrival at 10 Downing Street, London, June 1, 1989.
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  • First lady Barbara Bush and her granddaughter Marshall Lloyd Bush spend time with first dog Millie and her six puppies in the White House, March 18, 1989. The birth of the puppies brought media attention across the country. Wearing her robe and slippers, Barbara Bush was known to walk Millie around the White House lawn.
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  • Diana, princess of Wales, with Barbara Bush at the White House, October 1990. The first lady later presented Diana with her book, “Millie’s Book, as dictated to Barbara Bush,” in which the first dog took readers through a typical day at the White House.
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  • President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush during a Thanksgiving visit to Marines at an encampment in Saudi Arabia, Nov. 22, 1990. She was a strong supporter of the Gulf War, which her husband waged against Saddam Hussein and Iraqi forces.
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  • George H.W. and Barbara Bush wave farewell to dignitaries gathered at the U.S. Capitol after the inauguration of Bill Clinton as the 42nd president of the United States, Jan. 20, 1993, in Washington. She became involved with many projects after leaving the White House, including her husband's presidential library.
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  • From left, current and former first ladies Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Betty Ford, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan and Lady Bird Johnson at the dedication of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library on Nov. 6, 1997, in College Station, Texas.
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  • Former first lady Barbara Bush asks for quiet as she speaks at the Republican National Convention at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Aug. 1, 2000. She campaigned vigorously for her son George W. Bush, who won the presidency in 2000 and was re-elected in 2004.
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  • Former first lady Barbara Bush meets with families at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at the Maine Medical Center in downtown Portland, Sept. 30, 2003. It is one of many institutions across the country named for her.
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  • From left, former first lady Barbara Bush, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Houston Mayor Bill White and Sen. Barack Obama listen to former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton during a press conference in Houston, Sept. 5, 2005, regarding New Orleans area residents who were displaced after Hurricane Katrina.
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  • George H.W. and Barbara Bush wait for the start of the inauguration ceremony for their son George W. Bush at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 20, 2005.
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  • George H.W. and Barbara Bush attend a screening of the HBO documentary "41" on June 12, 2012, in Kennebunkport, Maine. She continues to be active with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
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  • George H.W. and Barbara Bush pose for a photo at Houston Methodist Hospital, Jan. 23, 2017. Then 92, he was suffering from pneumonia. She had been admitted at the same hospital for bronchitis and was released after completing treatment.
    Office of George H.W. Bush via AP
  • George H.W. and Barbara Bush on the field for the coin toss of Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Feb. 5, 2017. Attendees in the stadium greeted them with cheers, and several players from both teams stopped to shake their hands afterward.
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