Former First Lady Barbara Bush has died. Aged 92 years, Bush died in Houston. Mrs. Bush served as First Lady of the United States during the tenure of President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993.
The office of George H.W. Bush released a statement announcing her death. She has been battling congestive heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had recently decided not to seek any further treatment.
She was born in New York City on June 8, 1925. She met her husband, George H.W. Bush, at a dance in Massachusetts in 1941 when she was 16 years old. After dating for a year and a half, the couple got engaged before he went off to World War II to serve as a Navy torpedo bomber pilot. When he returned on leave, Barbara dropped out of Smith College in Northampton, Mass. They got married two weeks later on Jan. 6, 1945, in Rye, N.Y.
She became first lady after her husband was elected president in 1988, and continued to promote her cause of literacy. She eventually helped to develop the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which seeks to improve literacy in the U.S. through programs directed toward pre-school children and parental literacy. She spoke regularly on “Mrs. Bush’s Story Time,” a national radio program that stressed the significance of reading aloud to children.
After leaving the White House, she served on the boards of Americares and the Mayo Clinic, and headed the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.