Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at the age of 92, according to a family spokesman.
A statement issued on Sunday by the office of former President George H.W. Bush said that Bush had elected to receive “comfort care” over additional medical treatment after a series of hospitalizations.
“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,” it said. “She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”
Former President George W. Bush said in a 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.”
Bush will go down in history as one of just two women to be both the wife of a U.S. president and also the mother of one. She was as famous for her undyed hair and fake pearls as she was for her self-deprecating humor, and she made it clear — from the moment she moved into the White House — that she was going to be a different kind of first lady from her very glamorous predecessor, Nancy Reagan.
A statement from the office of her husband described her as a “relentless proponent of family literacy”.
Mrs Bush was also the mother of Jeb Bush, who served as governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007 and unsuccessfully ran for the White House in 2016.
As first lady, Mrs Bush went beyond the traditional role of a political spouse, founding the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy to help parents and children from disadvantaged communities to read and write.
George HW Bush, who served as the 41st US president, suffers from a form of Parkinson’s disease and uses a wheelchair.
The couple celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January.
It was recently announced that Mrs Bush had declined further medical treatment after a series of hospital visits, but the statement did not reveal the nature of her ailments.
She said she wanted to spend her last days in “comfort care” with her family.