Barbara Bush

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Barbara Pierce Bush
Barbara Bush portrait.jpg
Barbara Bush in 1989
First Lady of the United States
In office
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
Preceded by Nancy Reagan
Succeeded by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Wife of the Vice President of the
United States
In office
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
Preceded by Joan Mondale
Succeeded by Marilyn Quayle
Personal details
Born (1925-06-08) June 8, 1925 (age 92)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s) George H. W. Bush
Relations Marvin Pierce and Pauline Robinson
Children George W. Bush, Robin Bush, Jeb Bush, Neil Bush, Marvin Bush and Dorothy Bush Koch
Occupation First Lady of the United States
Religion Episcopalian

Barbara Pierce Bush (born June 8, 1925) is the wife of the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, and served as the First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She is the mother of the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush and of the 43rd Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. Previously, she had served as the Second Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989.

Early life[change | change source]

She was born in New York City, New York. Her parents were Pauline Robinson (1896-1949) and her husband, Marvin Pierce (1893-1969). Her mother died in a car accident. Her ancestor Thomas Pierce, an early New England colonist, was also an ancestor of Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States. She is a fourth cousin, four times removed of Franklin Pierce.[1]

She spent her early childhood in Rye, New York. She began her studies in a school in Rye, New York. Then she studied in a boarding school at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina.

Family[change | change source]

In a dance party she met George H. W. Bush. At that time she was a girl of 17 years, and Bush was a student at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. They got engaged just before Bush went to fight in the Second World War. He was a torpedo bomber of the United States Navy. Bush named three of his airplanes after Barbara: Barbara, Barbara II, and Barbara III. In December 1944, Bush returned to the USA on leave. Two weeks later, they married on 6th January 1945. After the Second World War, Bush graduated from the Yale University. They moved to Midland, Texas. In 1953, the Bushes' daughter Robin died of leukemia. It severely affected Barbara Bush, and it began to turn her hair from a light brown color to chalk-white. On April 13, 2013, she became a great-grandmother after her granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager gave birth to a daughter.

Children[change | change source]

Bush had six children:

  1. George W. Bush (born July 6, 1946) 43rd President of the United States and 46th Governor of Texas
  2. Pauline Robinson "Robin" Bush (December 20, 1949 - October 11, 1953, died of leukemia);
  3. John Ellis "Jeb" Bush (born February 11, 1953); 43rd Governor of Florida
  4. Neil Mallon Bush (born January 22, 1955);
  5. Marvin Pierce Bush (born October 22, 1956)
  6. Dorothy Bush Koch (born August 18, 1959).

Personal life[change | change source]

Over the years, the Bush family had moved 29 times. George H. W. Bush had become a successful person and had founded Zapata Corporation. He served in a variety of government jobs. George H. W. Bush became the 41st President of the United States in 1989 and served until 1993.

While First Lady[change | change source]

Bush with children and White House staff in the China Room. The first lady is trying to make a paw print of her pet Millie for a holiday card.

Bush became the First Lady of the United States when her husband was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She did her role as the First Lady in a nice way. She made a paw print for her pet Millie for a holiday card in 1991.

After being First Lady[change | change source]

After her husband's presidency, they moved to Houston, Texas. There they live in a big house in Kennebunkport, Maine.

On March 18, 2003, two days before the beginning of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when her son George W. Bush was holding the office of the presidency, ABC's Good Morning America asked her about her family's television viewing habits. She replied:

I watch none. He [former President George H.W. Bush] sits and listens and I read books, because I know perfectly well that, don't take offense, that 90 percent of what I hear on television is supposition, when we're talking about the news. And he's not, not as understanding of my pettiness about that. But why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or that or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that, and watch him suffer.[2]

George and Barbara Bush attend the christening ceremony for the USS George H.W. Bush CVN-77 6, October 2006
Former First Lady Mrs. Barbara Bush at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2012.

While visiting a Houston relief center for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Bush told the radio program Marketplace,

Almost everyone I've talked to says, 'We're gonna move to Houston.' What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas... Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality, and so many of the people in the arenas here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this (as she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.[3][4]

The remarks had controversy.[5] In 2006, it was revealed that Barbara Bush donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Bush–Clinton Katrina Fund on the condition that the charity do business with an educational software company owned by her son Neil Bush.[6]

In November 2008 Bush was hospitalized for abdominal pains. On November 25, a dime-sized hole in her small intestine, that was caused by an ulcer, was revealed by surgeons. She was released December 2, 2008 and was reported to be doing well.[7]

Bush underwent aortic valve replacement surgery on March 4, 2009; she was released from the hospital on March 13, 2009.[8]

In a November 2010 interview with Larry King, Bush was asked about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Bush remarked, "I sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful, and I think she's very happy in Alaska, and I hope she'll stay there."[9] Palin responded, "I don't want to, sort of, concede that we have to get used to this kind of thing, because I think the majority of Americans don't want to put up with the blue-bloods – and I say it with all due respect, because I love the Bushes – but, the blue-bloods, who want to pick and choose their winners, instead of allowing competition to pick and choose the winners."[10]

Barbara Bush was portrayed by Ellen Burstyn in the 2008 film W.

On December 31, 2013, Bush was hospitalized at The Methodist Hospital, in Houston, Texas, for a "respiratory related issue". She was in stable condition and had received a visit from her family, according to the Bush family's statement to the media. As stated above and in the news release, the former U.S. First Lady had been admitted to the same hospital in 2008 for treatment of a perforated ulcer, returning in 2010 for routine testing.[11] On January 4, 2014, Bush was released from the hospital and it was announced she had been suffering from pneumonia. She was quoted as saying, "I cannot thank the doctors and nurses at Houston Methodist enough for making sure I got the best treatment and got back to George and our dogs as quickly as possible." [12]

Names that represent places[change | change source]

Several schools bear the name of Barbara Bush. Sometimes, Barbara Bush had given sharp comments on certain matters.

References[change | change source]

  1. Merrill, Deane Whitney (2000). "Correction - First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush". Retrieved 2013-1-27.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. "Barbara Bush 'Beautiful Mind' Quote". Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  3. "Barbara Bush: Things Working Out 'Very Well' for Poor Evacuees from New Orleans". Editor and Publisher. September 5, 2005. Archived from the original on 10 April 2007. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  4. "Marketplace". American Public Media. September 5, 2005.  Audio clip.
  5. "Barbara Bush comments on survivors spark outrage". Sydney Morning Herald. September 7, 2005. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  6. CYNTHIA LEONOR GARZA, Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle (2006-03-23). "Katrina funds earmarked to pay for Neil Bush's software program – Houston Chronicle". Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  7. "Former First Lady Barbara Bush In Hospital". Fox News. 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2011-11-17. 
  8. Former first lady Barbara Bush released from hospital. CNN (2009-03-13)
  9. Snyder, Whitney (November 20, 2010). "Barbara Bush Jabs Sarah Palin: 'I Hope She Stays' In Alaska (VIDEO)". Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  10. "44 – Palin fires back at 'blue-blood' Barbara Bush". 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  12. Hamedy, Sama (January 4, 2014). "Former First Lady Barbara Bush released from Houston hospital". Los Angeles Times.