Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush

name = Barbara Pierce Bush

imagesize = 200px
birth_date = birth date and age|mf=yes|1925|6|8
birth_place =Flushing, New York, U.S.
occupation = First Lady of the United States
order= First Lady of the United States
term_start=January 20, 1989
term_end=January 20, 1993
predecessor = Nancy Reagan
successor = Hillary Rodham Clinton
spouse = George H. W. Bush
children = George W. Bush, Robin Bush, Jeb Bush, Neil Bush, Marvin Bush and Dorothy Bush Koch
relations = Marvin Pierce and Pauline Robinson

order2= Second Lady of the United States
term_start2=January 20, 1981
term_end2=January 20, 1989
predecessor2=Joan Mondale
successor2=Marilyn Quayle

Barbara Pierce Bush (born June 8, 1925) is the wife of the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush and was First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Preceding that, she was the 33rd Second Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989 while her husband was Vice President to Ronald Reagan. She is the mother of U.S. President George W. Bush and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. As wife of the Vice President and then President, and continuing after leaving Washington, she supported the cause of universal literacy.

Early life

Barbara Pierce was the third child of the former Pauline Robinson (1896–1949) and her husband, Marvin Pierce (1893–1969), who later became president of McCall Corporation, the publisher of the popular women's magazines "Redbook" and "McCall's". Her ancestor Thomas Pierce, an early New England colonist, was also an ancestor of Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States. She is a direct descendant, great-great-granddaughter, of James Pierce, Jr. who was a fourth cousin of President Pierce. [ [ Correction Barbara Pierce Bush Genealogy ] ]

Barbara was born at Booth Memorial Hospital in Flushing, Queens in New York City, and raised in the suburban town of Rye, New York. Her mother was killed in a car accident in September 1949.cite web|url=|title=First Lady Biography: Barbara Bush|publisher=National First Ladies Library|accessdate=2008-01-21]

Barbara attended Rye Country Day School from 1931 to 1937 and later boarding school at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina (from 1940 to 1943). She was athletic as a youth and enjoyed swimming, tennis, and bike-riding. Her interest in reading began early in her life; she recalls gathering with her family during the evenings and reading together.

Marriage and family

She met George Herbert Walker "Poppy" Bush, a student at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, at age sixteen during a dance over Christmas vacation. [Bush, Barbara (1994), p. 16] One and a half years later, the two became engaged to be married, just before he went off to World War II as a Navy torpedo bomber pilot. He named three of his planes after her: "Barbara," "Barbara II", and "Barbara III". When he returned on leave, she had dropped out of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Two weeks later, on January 6, 1945, they married. He graduated from Yale University following the end of the war; they soon moved to Midland, Texas.

She gave birth to six children:
*George W. Bush (born July 6, 1946), 43rd President of the United States and 46th Governor of Texas
*Pauline Robinson "Robin" Bush (December 20, 1949 – October 11, 1953, died of leukemia)
*John Ellis "Jeb" Bush (born February 11, 1953), 43rd Governor of Florida
*Neil Mallon Bush (born January 22, 1955)
*Marvin Pierce Bush (born October 22, 1956)
*Dorothy Bush Koch (born August 18, 1959)

During that time, George H. W. Bush built a business in the oil industry, where he founded Zapata Corporation. The Bush family moved 30 times over the years. Barbara raised her children while her husband, who served in a variety of government jobs, was usually away.

The First Lady of the United States

Barbara Bush's cause as First Lady was literacy, as it was when she was Second Lady, calling it "the most important issue we have". [ White House biography of Barbara Bush] ] She was also active with the White House Historical Association and worked to revitalize the White House Preservation Fund, which she renamed the White House Endowment Trust. The trust raises funds for the ongoing refurbishment and restoration of the White House. She met her goal of raising $25 million towards the endowment.

Bush was known for her affection for her pet English Springer Spaniel Millie and wrote a child's book about Millie's new litter of puppies. Barbara Bush became the first U.S. First Lady to become a recipient of the Henry G. Freeman Jr. Pin Money Fund, receiving $36,000, most of which she gave to favorite charities.

Later life

Since leaving the White House, she and her husband reside in Houston, Texas and at the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Several schools have been named for her: three primary schools and two middle schools in Texas and an elementary school in Mesa, Arizona. Also named for her is the Barbara Bush Library in Harris County, Texas [ [ Harris County Public Library - Branch Information - Barbara Bush @ Cypress Creek] ] and the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.

Bush was initiated into Beta Sigma Phi women's fraternity as an alumna honor initiate and also was initiated into the Texas Eta chapter (Texas A&M University) of Pi Beta Phi women's fraternity in 2002 as an alumna honor initiate. [ [ Famous Pi Phis, Texas Eta web site] ] Even before her initiation, she served as honorary chairperson of the fraternity's literacy philanthropy.Fact|date=April 2008

She serves on the Boards of AmeriCares and the Mayo Clinic, and heads the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. In 2006, it was revealed that Barbara Bush donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Bush–Clinton Katrina Fund on the condition the charity do business with an educational software company owned by her son Neil Bush. [ [ Katrina funds earmarked to pay for Neil Bush's software program | - Houston Chronicle] ]

Outspoken commentary

Barbara Bush has a reputation for being outspoken in comments she has made to the press. [ [ Barbara Bush: Presidential Matriarch] ]

In 1984, Bush told the press that she could not say on television what she thought of then Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, but "it rhymes with rich". [ [ 595. Barbara Bush. Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations. 1988] ]

During her husband's 1992 presidential campaign, Barbara Bush stated that abortion is a personal matter and argued that the Republican Party platform should not take a stand on it, saying that "The personal things should be left out of, in my opinion, platforms and conventions." Her personal views on abortion were not known, although her friends reported at that time that she "privately supported abortion rights". [cite news | author=Alessandra Stanley | url= | title= THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Barbara Bush; First Lady on Abortion: Not a Platform Issue | publisher=The New York Times (paid access)| date=1992-08-14 | accessdate=2008-08-25]

On March 18, 2003, two days before the beginning of the war on Iraq, ABC's Good Morning America asked her about her family's television viewing habits; she replied:::I watch none. He [former President Bush] sits and listens and I read books, because I know perfectly well that, don't take offense, that 90 percent of what I hear on television is supposition, when we're talking about the news. And he's not, not as understanding of my pettiness about that. But why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or that or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that, and watch him suffer. [ [ Urban Legends Reference Pages: Barbara Bush 'Beautiful Mind' Quote] ]

While visiting a Houston relief center for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Bush told the radio program Marketplace,

::"Almost everyone I've talked to says, 'We're gonna move to Houston.' What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas... Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality, and so many of the people in the arenas here, you know, were underprivileged anyway. This is working very well for them". [cite news
title=Barbara Bush: Things Working Out 'Very Well' for Poor Evacuees from New Orleans
publisher=Editor and Publisher |date=September 5, 2005 | accessdate=2007-04-18
] [cite news
title=Marketplace |date=September 5, 2005 |publisher=American Public Media
Audio clip.



*cite book |last= Bush|first= Barbara|title= Barbara Bush: A Memoir|date=1994|publisher=Scribner|location=New York|isbn=0025196359

External links

* [ White House biography]
* [ Paper defining the role of the first lady] , including a comparison between Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton

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