Barbara Bush, dead at 92: Tributes to the former first lady

SHARE Barbara Bush, dead at 92: Tributes to the former first lady

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 1998, file photo, President-elect George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, are shown during a morning beachfront news conference in Gulf Stream, Fla. A family spokesman said Tuesday, April 17, 2018, that former first lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

WASHINGTON – The death Tuesday of former first lady Barbara Bush triggered an outpouring of tributes.

Statement from the President on the Passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump join the Nation in celebrating the life of Barbara Bush. As a wife, mother, grandmother, military spouse, and former First Lady, Mrs. Bush was an advocate of the American family. Amongst her greatest achievements was recognizing the importance of literacy as a fundamental family value that requires nurturing and protection. She will be long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family, both of which she served unfailingly well. The President and First Lady’s thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mrs. Bush.


Statement from First Lady Melania Trump on the Passing of Barbara Bush

Our hearts are with the Bush family as we celebrate the life and mourn the loss of Barbara Bush. Throughout her life, she put family and country above all else. Her dedicated service to the American people was matched only by her compassion and love of family. She was a woman of strength and we will always remember her for her most important roles of wife, mother, and First Lady of the United States. My heartfelt condolences and prayers are with the Bush family as we honor her legacy.


Statement from Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence on the Passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Karen and I send our deepest sympathies to President Bush and the entire Bush family with the passing of Barbara Bush. Barbara Bush was a woman of unique strength and grace whose devotion to her family was an inspiration to every American. Mrs. Bush’s example in public life and her encouragement made a lasting impact on our family, as it did on the families of millions of Americans, and she will be missed. We offer our deepest condolences to the entire Bush family during this difficult time and we will be praying for all who mourn the passing of this good and great woman. God bless Barbara Bush.


Statement from President and Mrs. Obama on the Passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush was the rock of a family dedicated to public service, and our thoughts and prayers are with both Presidents Bush and the entire Bush family tonight. We’ll always be grateful to Mrs. Bush for the generosity she showed to us throughout our time in the White House, but we’re even more grateful for the way she lived her life – as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit. She’ll be remembered for passing those American values on to her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren – and to the countless citizens whom she and George inspired to become “points of light” in service to others.


Statement from President Clinton and Secretary Clinton on the Passing of Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman. She had grit and grace, brains and beauty. She was fierce and feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes. She showed us what an honest, vibrant, full life looks like. Hillary and I mourn her passing and bless her memory.

We will never forget the courtesy and kindness she and President Bush showed us, starting when I was governor in 1983. I’ll always treasure my summer visits to Kennebunkport. Barbara joked that George and I spent so much time together I had become almost a member of the family, the “black sheep” that had gone astray.

Our hearts and prayers go out to President Bush; to George, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and to the entire Bush family she loved so much. We know that through them her remarkable strength, warmth and wit, and her devotion to our country will live on.


Statement from Mayor Emanuel on the Passing of First Lady Barbara Bush

First Lady Barbara Bush was deeply devoted to her country, her family and empowering the world through literacy. She will be remembered for her strength and graciousness, abiding patriotism and generous philanthropy. We are all keeping her beloved husband of 73 years, President George H.W. Bush, their children, grandchildren and the entire Bush family in our thoughts and prayers.


U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) released the following statement on the passing of Barbara Bush:

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush. The wife and mother to U.S. presidents lived a remarkable and patriotic life. Her love of country and family, and her unshakable faith was an inspiration to all Americans. She leaves behind a legacy dedicated to service, championing universal literacy, and advocating for cancer research. I join the entire nation in mourning her passing and I send my heartfelt condolences to the entire Bush family.”


U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the followed statement regarding the passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush:

“Elaine and I join my Senate colleagues and the entire nation in offering our condolences to the Bush family on this sad day.

“America has known and loved Barbara Bush for decades. That’s because to get to know Barbara Bush was to admire her. To many, her most famous traits might have seemed to be her renowned toughness and steely resolve. She wielded these formidable qualities on behalf of her nation, the family she loved, and the many worthy causes she supported. Advocates of literacy, in particular, have bid farewell to a generational champion for their efforts.

“But what really defined Barbara’s life was her deep love for her lucky husband George, for her family, and for the country.

“Today a nation joins the Bush family, their many friends, and all the country in their grief, and in prayer.”


House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) tonight issued the following statement:

“Barbara Bush holds a revered place in the hearts of generations of Americans. She so loved her family and our country. She led both with clarity and character. She shined a light on the power of a parent reading to a child. Her husband, our 41st president, wrote in his last days in office: ‘history will show that she was beloved because she was real and she cared and she gave of herself.’ Who could say it better?

“To Mrs. Bush’s family—especially her 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren—I extend the deepest condolences of the whole House of Representatives. May she rest in eternal peace.”


House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on the passing of First Lady Barbara Bush:

“Barbara Bush lived out every day as a devoted wife, mother, and public servant. Barbara was not only the second woman in our nation’s history to be both the wife and mother to a president of the United States, but served as a role model of grace, dignity, and selflessness to us all, especially though her legacy supporting and inspiring generations of American adults and children in an issue near and dear to her heart: literacy. Our entire nation mourns the passing of this great woman, and we pray for the entire Bush and Pierce families.”


Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush:

“Tonight is a sad night for America. Our nation mourns the passing of a fierce patriot and a bold advocate for family literacy, a generous volunteer and devoted wife, mother and grandmother: First Lady Barbara Bush.

“Mrs. Bush brought dignity, civility and spirit to everything she did. Her strength of character, the strength of her principles, and the strength of her faith were a great gift to our nation. She leaves a living legacy in the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the deep spirit of volunteerism she championed on behalf of children and families.

“All who knew Mrs. Bush saw her immense love for and pride in her family. We hope that it is a comfort to her husband of 73 years, Former President George H.W. Bush, her children, including President George W. Bush, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and the entire Bush family that so many share their sadness at this difficult time.”

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the Republican Jewish Coalition issued the following statement from National Chairman, Senator Norm Coleman:

We are saddened by the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush. On behalf of the Republican Jewish Coalition, we send our thoughts and prayers to President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush, and the entire Bush family. Barbara Bush was an extraordinary woman. She dedicated her life to public service, and worked tirelessly to help sick children and people in need. Mrs. Bush was the gold standard for what it means to be First Lady. She inspired millions and helped countless others. She will be deeply missed, but her legacy of charity will live on. May her memory be a blessing.

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Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel released the following statement on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush:

“We are heartbroken by the news of former First Lady Barbara Bush’s passing,” said Chairwoman McDaniel. “Barbara Bush was known for her immeasurable kindness and generosity as First Lady, mother, wife, grandmother, and great-grandmother. An entire nation loved her and admired her unfailing faith.”

“Barbara Bush’s memory lives on through the love of her family. We at the RNC are praying for peace and blessings for the entire Bush family.”


Senator Susan Collins issued this statement on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush:

“Barbara Bush was a great First Lady, a terrific advocate for literary programs and the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, and a strong woman who loved her family, the State of Maine, and our country.

“I first met Mrs. Bush in 1994 when I was running for governor, and she campaigned with me. Since that time, I have been fortunate to have had her as a friend as well as a stalwart supporter. Every summer for more than 20 years, I have visited President and Mrs. Bush at their Kennebunkport home. It was always one of the highlights of the year. I shall miss those delightful visits with her.

“My heart goes out to President Bush and to the entire family.”


Sen. Angus King Statement on the Passing of First Lady Barbara Bush

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today released the following statement on the passing of First Lady Barbara Bush:

“First Lady Barbara Bush was a true American, leader, mother, and wife whose lifelong commitment to universal literacy improved the lives of generations of American children. In Maine, many of us were fortunate to spot her as she walked the beach in Kennebunkport over the years, and her connection to our state, her deep concern for the wellbeing of its children, and her unwavering generosity has helped provide care for thousands of children throughout Maine at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. With grace and devotion, she proudly served our country and its citizens. Mary and I join the state of Maine and a grateful nation in keeping the First Lady and the entire Bush family in our thoughts during this difficult time.”


IWF Statement on Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Washington, DC – Charlotte Hays, Director of Cultural Programs at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement on the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush, who died April 17, 2018, in Houston, Texas:

“Independent Women’s Forum extends our condolences to the family of former First Lady Barbara Bush.”

“Mrs. Bush, who served as First Lady from 1989 to 1993, was universally admired for her forthrightness and ability to put people at ease.”

“Despite her aristocratic origins, Mrs. Bush was unpretentious, and her country loved her for her for it. She made no pretenses about her trademark fake pearls and delighted in the ‘America’s grandmother’ image conferred by her mane of white hair.”

“She firmly believed that literacy was the key to solving many national problems and improving the lives of disadvantaged Americans. To that end, she established and worked hard for The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.”

“She was essential to President George H. W. Bush’s career, both as a politician and a transplanted Texan building a career in the oil business, and exerted an important influence on President George W. Bush, who sometimes traced his outspokenness to his mother.”

“Our hearts go out to the Bush family at the loss of this wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and to the country for the loss of this model First Lady.”


McMorris Rodgers Mourns the Passing of First Lady Barbara Bush

“Your success as a family… our success as a nation… depends not on what happens inside the White House, but on what happens inside your house.”

-Former First Lady Barbara Bush


U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released the following statement on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush:

“Barbara Bush was a woman of grace, wit, perseverance and character. She committed the entirety of her life to serving others: her family, her friends and her nation.

“A true advocate for lifelong learning, no one in America has done more to advance the cause of literacy — both for students and for parents — than Barbara Bush. She continued this commitment long after her days in the White House, and her work has changed thousands upon thousands of families’ lives for generations by helping them unlock the power of literacy.

“I extend my heartfelt prayers for and deepest condolences to the entire Bush family, along with sincere gratitude for sharing their wife, mother and ganny with all of us. America is a better country because of Barbara Bush.”



Simi Valley, California – It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Barbara Bush. She was an exemplar of the “greatest generation” and leaves behind a legacy for all future first ladies. In addition to being the matriarch of a great American family, she touched the lives of so many through an extraordinary commitment to child and adult literacy.

Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the entire Bush family at this sad time.


Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, co-founders of the gun violence prevention organization Giffords, released a statement noting the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, co-founders of Giffords:

“Throughout her life, Barbara Bush made her presence felt. She was an incredible First Lady and an American icon who inspired many. Barbara was also passionate about her family and put a smile on the face of those she met. Her warmth and compassion won’t soon be forgotten and we will honor her and all she did for the country. Our hearts are with the Bush family as they say goodbye.”


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