Barbara Bush: The outspoken, snowy-haired First Lady of US

Published: 18th April 2018 11:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th April 2018 12:46 PM  

The wife of the nation's 41st president and mother of the 43rd, former First Lady of the US Barbara Bush brought a plainspoken, grandmotherly style to buttoned-down Washington, displaying an utter lack of vanity about her white hair and wrinkles. In this 1990 file photo, she poses with her dog Millie in Washington. | AP
'What you see with me is what you get. I'm not running for president — George Bush is,' she said at the 1988 Republican National Convention, where her husband, then vice president, was nominated to succeed Ronald Reagan. In this Feb. 8, 1989, file photo, she strolls on the White House South Lawn, with the family dog, Millie. | AP
The Bushes, who married on Jan. 6, 1945, had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. And Mrs. Bush was one of only two first ladies (Other was Abigail Adma, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams) who had a child who was elected president. In this June 6, 1964 file photo, George Bush, candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, gets returns by phone at his headquarters in Houston as his wife Barbara, beams her pleasure at the news. | AP
Former first couple George and Barbara Bush's relationship is a true love story, described by granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager as 'remarkable.' They met at a Christmas dance. She was 17. He was 18. Two years later they were married. In this Sept. 22, 1989, file photo, first lady Barbara Bush reacts after President George H.W. Bush accidentally stepped on her toe while boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., for a flight to New Jersey. | AP
'I had the best job in America,' she wrote in a 1994 memoir describing her time in the White House. 'Every single day was interesting, rewarding, and sometimes just plain fun.' In this May 11, 1994, file photo, former first lady Barbara Bush, right, playfully strains to hear a reporter's question while posing with other former first ladies, at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington. Joining Barbara Bush, from left are; Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford and Nancy Reagan. | AP
Her public image was that of self-sacrificing, supportive spouse who referred to her husband as her 'hero.' In this Aug. 18, 1988, file photo, Barbara Bush cheers and waves to her husband, George H.W. Bush, as Rev. Billy Graham, right, stands beside her at the Republican National Convention, in New Orleans. | AP
In the White House, 'you need a friend, someone who loves you, who's going to say, 'You are great,'' Mrs. Bush said in a 1992 television interview. In this March 8, 2017, file photo, the Mensch International Foundation presented its annual Mensch Award to former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush at an awards ceremony hosted by Congregation Beth Israel in Houston. | AP
In a collection of letters published in 1999, George H.W. Bush included a note he gave to his wife in early 1994. 'You have given me joy that few men know,' he wrote. 'You have made our boys into men by bawling them out and then, right away, by loving them. You have helped Doro to be the sweetest, greatest daughter in the whole wide world. I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara's husband.' In this Nov. 2, 1992, file photo, entertainer Bob Hope, back right, applauds as President George H. W. Bush kisses his wife Barbara during a pre-election rally at the Astro Arena in Houston. | AP
Along with her memoirs, she wrote 'C. Fred's Story' and 'Millie's Book,' based on the lives of her dogs. In this Sept. 13, 1991, file photo, first lady Barbara Bush, her granddaughter Barbara, and Millie wait on the steps of the White House for U.S. President George H.W. Bush to return from his check-up. | AP
In her 1994 autobiography, 'Barbara Bush: A Memoir,' she said she did her best to keep her opinions from the public while her husband was in office. But she revealed that she disagreed with him on two issues: She supported legal abortion and opposed the sale of assault weapons. In this Jan. 21, 1985, file photo, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, right, stand with Vice President George Bush and Barbara Bush following the oaths in the Capitol Building in Washington. | AP
Her uncoiffed, matronly appearance often provoked jokes that she looked more like the boyish president's mother than his wife. In this May 5, 1989, file photo, first lady Barbara Bush throws out the first pitch before the start of the Texas Rangers game against the New York Yankees in Arlington, Texas. | AP
Daughter-in-law Laura Bush, another first lady, said Mrs. Bush was 'ferociously tart-tongued' from the start. 'She's never shied away from saying what she thinks. ... She's managed to insult nearly all of my friends with one or another perfectly timed acerbic comment,' Laura Bush said in her 2010 book, 'Spoken from the Heart.' In this May 5, 1989, file photo, first lady Barbara Bush throws out the first pitch before the start of the Texas Rangers game against the New York Yankees in Arlington, Texas. | AP
Barbara Bush didn't hesitate to tell people that her trademark pearl necklaces were fake. In this May 19, 1990, file photo, first lady Barbara Bush, center, smiles while being greeted by graduates at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo. | AP
In 1990, Barbara Bush gave the commencement address at all-women Wellesley College. Her speech was rated by a survey of scholars in 1999 as one of the top 100 speeches of the century. 'Cherish your human connections,' Mrs. Bush told graduates. In this May 14, 1990, file photo, first lady Barbara Bush receives an honorary degree at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. | AP
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