Remembering a First Lady

Remembering a First Lady

Aliyah Oliver

     Barbara Bush was the wife of the former 41st president: George H.W. Bush. Sadly, on April 17, 2018, she passed away at age 92 in Houston, Texas. She was also the mother of the 43rd president: George W. Bush. Barbara served as the First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993 and was the Second Lady from 1981 to 1989. She is also one of the two women to be both a wife and a mother to a president of the United States, the other one being Abigail Adams.

    Barbara was born into a wealthy family in New York City, where she grew up to be an athletic and smart young girl with a keen interest in reading. At age 16, she met her future husband, George H.W. Bush and married him a few years later while he was serving as a naval officer in WWII. While she was serving as the First Lady she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and continued promoting this cause even after she left the White House. She also served on the Boards of AmeriCares and the Mayo Clinic.



  • Barbara Bush was born as Barbara Pierce on June 8, 1925, in New York City as the third child of Pauline and her husband Marvin Pierce. Her father later became the president of McCall Corporation, the publisher of the popular women’s magazines ‘Redbook’ and ‘McCall’s’.
  • She went to the Rye Country Day School from 1931 to 1937 and later studied at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina from 1940 to 1943. She was an athletic young girl who enjoyed swimming, tennis, and bike-riding. She also loved to read.
  • She met George Herbert Walker Bush, a student at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts during a dance over Christmas vacation when she was 16. The two began dating and eventually married in 1945 while George was on leave during his deployment as a naval officer in World War II.
  • Barbara Bush received the ‘Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged’, from the Jefferson Awards, in 1995.
  • She was honored with ‘The Miss America Woman of Achievement Award’ for her work with literacy programs, in 1997.