Former U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush has died, just a day after a family spokesman revealed that the 92-year-old matriarch had decided to forgo any further medical treatment and would focus on “comfort care”. She had been suffering from Graves’ disease, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and died at her home in Houston, Texas.
As late as last night (April 16), Bush was reported to be in “great spirits” by her granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager, and was reportedly “alert and having conversations over bourbon”, according to CBS.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City in 1925, Bush was a descendant of former president Franklin Pierce. She attended Smith College, and, in 1945, married George H. W. Bush, who would be elected the 41st president in 1988. Over the course of their 73-year marriage, they would have five children, 17 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. One of their sons, George W. Bush, would also go on to be elected president in 2000. (A second son, John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, would make a run for the presidency as well in 2016, but fall short.)
Bush holds a special place in American history, having been one of only two women who were both the wife and mother of a president. (Abigail Adams is the other.)
Upon Bush's death, her son, former president George W. Bush, released the following statement:
"My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I'm a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes."