Former first lady Barbara Bush died at her home in Houston on Tuesday following a battle with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 92. A family spokesman confirmed her death to ABC News.
A statement released by the office of former President George H.W. Bush, her husband, on Sunday indicated that after being hospitalized numerous times for both diseases, Barbara Bush decided that she wanted to be at home, forgoing any further treatment.
“It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself—thanks to her abiding faith—but for others,” the statement read. “She is surrounded by a family she adores and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”
Barbara Bush was first lady during her husband’s presidency, from 1989 to 1993. She is also the mother of the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush.
Another son, Jeb Bush, is the former governor of Florida and ran to become the Republican nominee for president in 2016.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City on June 8, 1925, Barbara Bush was a descendant of our 14th president, Franklin Pierce. She and Bush 41 met in 1941, when she was 16 years old. They wed in 1945 and celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary on Jan 6.
Barbara Bush will be infamously remembered for comments she made in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a radio interview for the program Marketplace, she declared that the Katrina evacuees in Texas staying in shelters and the Astrodome complex were better off than they were before the storm hit their hometowns.
“What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas,” she said in the interview. “Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.
“And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway,” she added, “so this is working very well for them.”
In her personal memoir, Bush referenced Anita Hill—who accused now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment—when she said: “I will never believe that she, a Yale Law School graduate, a woman of the 80s, would put up with sexual harassment for one moment, much less follow the harasser from job to job, call him when she came back to town and later invite him to speak to her students at ORU. It just makes no sense at all.”