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Barbara Bush, matriarch of the American political dynasty, dies at the age of 92



Barbara Bush, the wife of one President and the mother of another and whose embrace of her image as America's warm-hearted grandmother denied her influence and courage, died on April 17. She was 92.

Her husband's office, former President George HW Bush issued a statement Tuesday night announcing her death but not disclosing the cause. Ms. Bush reportedly fought against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure. Her family announced two days earlier that "after a recent hospitalization because of her" debilitated health "she had decided" not to seek any additional medical treatment. "

As the matriarch of one of America's political dynasties, Ms. Bush spent half a century in She was portrayed as a consummate wife and housewife when her husband rose from Texas Oilman to Commander-in-Chief They had six children, the oldest of whom was George W. Bush, whose oldest daughter, Robin, died in old age from 3 years of leukemia, a tragedy that had a profound impact on the family.

Her husband served two terms as Vice President under Ronald Reagan from 1

989 to 1993 and then one as president, under his supervision ended the Cold War, and the nation and its allies achieved a swift and ve defeating Iraq in the Persian Gulf War – before a flagging economy wiped out its chances of re-election.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

George W. Bush, a former Texas governor, was President and CEO from 2001-2009 September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks led the country into protracted wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the rumble of the Great Recession.

"Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman who was different from anyone else who brought ease, love and literacy to millions of people," her eldest son said in a statement. "It was so much more to us, the mother kept us going and kept us up to the end."

Only Abigail Adams, whose husband John Adams and son John Quincy Adams served as second and sixth presidents of the United States, respectively said Ms. Bush's distinction as wife and mother of the commander-in-chief.

Another Bush son, Jeb, served as Governor of Florida for two terms before unsuccessfully seeking the President's Republican nomination in 2016.

Mrs. Bush was proud of her family's accomplishments, but expressed reservations – especially when Jeb Bush offered his offer to the White House – to see if it was healthy in a democracy if a family were to accumulate so much power.

In a "Today" show interview, she named Jeb Bush "by far the best-qualified man." But "there are many great families, and there are not just four families or whatever – there are other people out there who are very skilled," she remarked, adding with her characteristic straightforwardness that "we had enough Bush.

But as soon as her son entered the race, she was 100 percent in – and she did not complain about her aversion to his main opponent, businessman Donald Trump. In a joint interview with Jeb before the New Hampshire area code, she relentlessly stated that it was "incomprehensible" for her to choose Trump, especially women, for her insulting comments.

Instinctively Understanding How Trump Is Obvious The fondness for Russian President Vladimir Putin might not suit the voters well, she continued: "Putin approved it, for God's sake, Putin the killer, Putin the worst is a confirmation that you do not want. "

A relatively unknown national figure until her husband became vice president, Ms. Bush felt comfortable as a backstage troupe and maintained stability for her family over the more than two dozen steps before settling in the Vice President came to official residence in 1981.

Within the Bush clan, she became known as "the executor."

"She may be the grandmother of many people," Jeb Bush Newsday said in 1990 when he was asked about the reassuring effect of his mother's matronly persona as First Lady, "but she was our paramedic when we grew up."

According to her report, she had developed from a shy, socially "square" 16-year-old schoolgirl hit at her sight 17-year-old future husband at a Christmas dance in Greenwich, Connecticut. At 19 she left her elite women's school (19659018) – Smith – to marry him.

Within a few years they would live their lives by wealth and privilege in the northeast as George H.W. Bush sought his fortune as a Texas oil trader before winning a congressional seat in 1966. Mrs. Bush accompanied him as a United Nations Ambassador, Head of the Republican National Committee, US Envoy to China, and Director of the United Arab Emirates across the country and around the world CIA before he became Reagan's vice candidate

According to Peter and Rochelle Swiss & # 39; s 2004 book "The Bushes: Portrait of a dynasty", Mrs. Bush maintained for years a network of tens of thousands of contacts and friends she used stored on index cards for social and fundraising reasons. When the bushes came to the White House and automated the index card, they had a Christmas card list with more than 10,000 names.

The Political Wife

As a political spouse, she sharply contrasted with her predecessor Nancy Reagan, who had occasionally attracted unwanted attention with her generous spending, designer clothes, and interference with her husband's administration. Mrs. Bush presented herself as the antithesis of glamor and excess. She became popular with her droll openness, bragging about with her triple strands of pearls and joking over her premature white hair.

The two women were terrible women protecting their husbands, and their relationship during the Reagan administration was noticeably icy. The Bushs were rarely invited to the family quarters of the Reagan White House.

As First Lady, Ms. Bush founded the charitable Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Competency, to which she donated nearly $ 800,000 after tax from her bestseller. Millie's Book "(1990), which channels the voice of her dog.

She also encouraged people to work in homeless shelters and head-start projects, and she promoted AIDS awareness when the disease was still severe

In 1989, she made headlines on the front page when she visited Grandmas House, a district AIDS pediatric care center, and cradled a baby at a time when many people mistakenly thought the disease was going through proximity to the virus.

She attended the funeral of Ryan White in 1990, the teenager who had struggled to return to the public school in Indiana after contracting the AIDS virus through a blood transfusion Husband signed the law that is today the Ryan White HIV / AIDS program to provide services to people with the disease, but AIDS advocates have been running the program since J considered insufficiently funded.)

Mrs. Bush was on the board of the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta and is said to have played a role in selecting her friend Louis W. Sullivan, President of Morehouse's Medical School, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services , [19659002] Despite her fondness for staying behind the scenes, Mrs. Bush did not hesitate to voice her own views. At times, Ms. Bush made public statements that seemed to clash with her husband's policies, including his rejection of abortion rights and arms control measures. But she stubbornly refused to be involved in discussions of personal and controversial issues, asking unwanted questions with salty humor or a sharp "next question."

In a rare misstep, while joking with reporters, she referred to her husband's vice in 1984 as "these $ 4 million – I can not say it, but it rhymes" richly. "" She apologized quickly.

The White House staff took a nickname given to them by their children "Silver Fox" – and made sure not to run over them. She was known to stare at aide-de-camp that she thought did not give up on her husband.

In one incident, Mrs. Bush apprehended Craig Fuller, the chief of staff of then-vice president Bush, after friends and supporters complained that he had not returned their phone calls. When she saw him go through a pile of news, she snapped in the earshot of her husband, "Look on … you'll find a couple of mine."

During the four years as First Lady, Mrs. Bush counted consistently among the nation's most admired women, with high poll ratings in the face of her husband's tumble ratings. During the 1992 election, she was often used by the Bush campaign as a substitute to personalize a president who was not known for charisma or general contact.

It was, as many commentators agreed, its most valuable asset in a race against then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, an agile activist who beat Bush on the economy, and wild-card candidate H. Ross Perot, a Texas Billionaire

"She had grit and grace, mind and beauty," Clinton said in a statement after her death, noting that he sometimes visited the bushes on their family retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine. "Barbara joked that George and I had spent so much time together that I almost became a member of the family, the 'black sheep' that had gone astray."

Mrs. In general, Bush managed to avoid the kind of intrigue and turmoil that bothered her predecessor as First Lady and her successor, Hillary Clinton, a lawyer, activist, and even a future president. Clinton promised to be a partner in her husband's public life and defended her career memorably, remarking, "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas."

Mrs. Bush declined in her non-nonsense form. The idea was that the elections would be a referendum on the dramatic generation change, and she rejected votes saying that voters liked her better than her husband.

"Nobody is jealous of me," she told the Washington Post. "I mean, look at me, who is that? It's easy to like me, you like George, and you respect him, but he has to say no to people because he has to do what's right for the country, and that's hard. "

& # 39; Interested in George & # 39;

Barbara Pierce was born in New York City on June 8, 1925. She was one of four children of former Pauline Robinson, the daughter of a court in Ohio, and Marvin Pierce, a senior executive of McCall Corp., the Redbooks, and McCalls Magazine issued.

As a child, Barbara physically stepped out and reached 5 feet 8 and 148 pounds at age 12. She once described her younger self as "a very happy, fat kid who spent all my life with my mother and said," Eat "Martha," to my older sister and "Not you, Barbara." Later she talked about her mother as a humorless, unapproachable task.

She was 16 years old and a student at the Ashley Hall Private School in Charleston, SC, when she met George Herbert Walker Bush, who was then attending the private Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. A romance at the Christmas dance of 1941 and still mainly by letters.

She later called him her first love and said he was the only boy she had ever kissed. She joined Smith College in 1943 but, as United Press International told her years later, "did not like learning so much …. The truth is I was just not very interested, I was only interested in George . "

She retired from Smith in 1944 after her engagement was announced. Her fiancé, a handsome Navy pilot, served in the South Pacific on September 2, 1944, when his plane was hit by enemy fire. He was saved in the water. They married on January 6, 1945, while George was on vacation. He had called his bomber "Barbara".

After the war, she moved with him to New Haven, Connecticut, where he graduated from Yale University and then West Texas.

Many years later she told The Post, which helped her in Texas to tame her for public life. "When you become a couple, very grown up, nobody's son or daughter, no one's shadow, you are you," she said. "For me, it was a very healthy thing, growing up after leaving the shadow of my mother."

In 1953, the Bush family was affected by the continuing suffering and death of daughter Robin, Pauline Robinson Bush meant, devastated. Decades later, Barbara Bush would still swallow when she spoke of her.

"I combed her hair and held her hand," she told the "Today" show. "I saw this little body, I saw her mind go."

Barbara was pushed into despair by the ordeal and its consequences. But The Post reported that Robin's death deepened Ms. Bush's band with her son George, who was 7 at the time. He told friends that he could not play because his mother needed him, and he worked hard to cheer her up – which characterized his exuberant personality. Bush gradually regained his balance. With her husband, she founded a foundation that raised money for leukemia research and awareness. She also spent a lot of time supporting her son Neil in his difficulties with dyslexia. She said that her son's reading disorder contributed to her devotion to literacy as the second woman and then the first woman.

George H.W. Bush's careers in the oil industry and civil service often kept him away from home, leaving Ms. Bush behind as an authority figure. She drove the carpools and stuffed five children into the car for the annual summer rides on the family outing in Kennebunkport.

She acknowledged that as soon as her youngest child left the house, she fell into depression. She attributed her feelings, at least in part, to the lack of purpose she felt when her children – and the women's movement – grew up. "Suddenly the Women's Library made me feel that my life was wasted," she told USA Today in 1989.

She said that her husband helped her overcome her doubts and that she also found satisfaction in having her children to develop oneself – enough adults, even if some – especially those who would become president – showed themselves independently.

George W. Bush drank too much in his youth and gave his parents many headaches before a new religious passion in his 40s changed his life. Mrs. Bush simply called her son "a late bloomer."

Neil, the fourth child, was director of the Denver-based Silverado Savings & Loan and was involved in his collapse in 1988, costing taxpayers more than $ 1 billion He and other directors included the case, and Neil Bush paid a fine of $ 50,000.

In addition to her husband, the survivors include five children, George, Jeb, Marvin, co-founder of investment firm Neil Bush and Dorothy "Doro" Bush Koch, who has worked in fundraising and philanthropy; a brother; 17 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

"A great life & # 39;

Mrs. Bush was a source of heated controversy when Wellesley College, Massachusetts Women's College, invited them to their 1990 inauguration. Some students protested, saying that the First Lady, who had left college to marry, and who had come to the fore through her husband's achievements, was not the sort of career woman who wanted to educate college.

In the beginning, Ms. Bush told the graduates that they should "value their human relationships: their relationships with family and friends." She added emphatically, "Somewhere in this audience could be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps and preside over the White House as the wife of the President, and I wish him well."

She had abandoned part of the reserve She cultivated as a First Lady when her son was elected president in 2000. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…=view&id=167 When she responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she told the public service radio station. Marketplace "Gulf Coast evacuees based in Houston's Astrodome are already underprivileged anyway, so it works very well."

A White House spokeswoman tried to downplay the remark by saying that Ms. Bush was a stern made "personal observation".

In her last years, Barbara Bush lived in the house she and her husband were building in Houston, largely out of the limelight. In 2009, she sat for an interview with Fox News on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the George Bush Presidential Library at College Station, Texas.

"Well, it was a wonderful life he had and I shared it," Ms. Bush said wistfully, remembering her time with her husband in Washington and China, and even the car she drove west. Texas brought. "We had a great life."


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