Former First Lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92.
Barbara Bush was the matriarchal figure of a political dynasty that included two presidents – her husband George H.W. Bush and son George W. Bush.
She was first lady from 1989 to 1993 and had been in failing health for some time and had declined further medical treatment.
George H.W. Bush, at 93, is the longest-lived US president. Their son, George W. Bush, was elected in 2000 and served two terms as the nation’s 43rd 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.”
The former president said his mother had “kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end”, adding: “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.”
Barbara 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, she 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.
Barbara Bush was a fierce advocate of civil rights and went against many of her husband’s Republican party supporters with her more liberal view on abortion rights.
In a statement from the White House, President Donald Trump said the former first lady would be long remembered for her devotion to country and family, “both of which she served unfailingly well”.
Barack and Michelle Obama also described Barbara Bush as “the rock of a family dedicated to public service” and as “an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit”.
Former President Bill Clinton said Barbara Bush was “feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes”.
Bill Clinton said he and his wife, Hillary, would “never forget the courtesy she and President Bush showed us”.
Barbara Bush was known for her snow-white hair and was dubbed “The Silver Fox” by her family.
George H.W. Bush, who served as the 41st US president, suffers from a form of Parkinson’s disease and uses a wheelchair.
It was recently announced that Barbara Bush had declined further medical treatment after a series of hospital visits, but the statement did not reveal the nature of her ailments.
The former first lady said she wanted to spend her last days in “comfort care” with her family.
Barbara Bush was born Barbara Pierce, the daughter of Marvin Pierce, publisher of McCall’s magazine. She grew up in Rye, New York.
She met George H.W. Bush in 1941 at a Christmas party in Connecticut and the couple celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January this year.
They had six children including a daughter, Robin, who died of leukaemia aged three in 1953.
As well as George and Jeb, the other Bush children are Neil, Marvin and Dorothy.
Barbara Bush was one of only two women whose husband and son became US president, and the only one to have seen them both sworn in.
Abigail Adams was married to the second US president, John Adams, and was the mother of the sixth, John Quincy Adams, although she did not live to see their son elected.
Benjamin Smith was charged on Friday with threatening to kill former President George W. Bush after professing a romantic interest in his oldest daughter, Barbara, prosecutors said.
The New York man was found sitting in a car with a loaded rifle, machete and a container of gasoline.
Benjamin Smith, 44, was arrested in Manhattan by the Secret Service, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
“Bush will get his,” Benjamin Smith screamed as he was taken into custody, according to the complaint. Later, when asked about his marital status, he told agents he was divorced and “working on a relationship with Barbara Bush”.
At a preliminary hearing, Assistant Attorney Andrea Griswold told Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman the government believes Benjamin Smith was referring to the former president’s daughter and not George W. Bush’s mother, who shares the same name.
It is a crime under federal law to threaten a current or former president.
Benjamin Smith was charged with threatening to kill former President George W. Bush
On Thursday, Benjamin Smith’s mother called police to report she had found a threatening note in the home she shares with her son and that a rifle was also missing, the complaint said.
“I’m going to work for George W. Bush and the Pentagon,” the note said, according to the government.
“I have to slay a dragon and then Barbara Bush is mine.”
The Secret Service tracked Benjamin Smith using his cell phone to Manhattan, where they arrested him early Friday morning.
It was not clear why Benjamin Smith went to New York City or where the former president and his family were at the time.
Benjamin Smith’s defense lawyer, Peggy Cross-Goldenberg, said the note and Smith’s outbursts did not constitute a “true threat”.
The judge also conceded it was “unclear” a jury would find Benjamin Smith guilty.
“Admittedly, there is some inconsistency in the notion that the way to win Barbara Bush’s affections is to kill her father,” Judge Henry Pitman said.
Ex-First Lady Barbara Bush has been admitted to a Houston hospital with a “respiratory related issue”, the family said in a statement.
Barbara Bush, 88, the wife of ex-President George H.W. Bush and mother of ex-President George W. Bush, was admitted to the Houston Methodist Hospital on Monday and was listed as being in stable condition.
“She is in great spirits, has already received visits from her husband and family, and is receiving fantastic care,” the family statement said.
Barbara Bush has been admitted to a Houston hospital with a respiratory related issue
Last week Barbara Bush and her husband, the 41st president, honored a Houston philanthropist with a Points of Light Award, a volunteer service award started by the former president.
Barbara Bush was admitted to the same hospital in 2008 after she suffered a perforated ulcer. She had heart surgery the next year for a narrowing of her main heart valve.
In 2010, Barbara Bush was admitted to the hospital after having a mild relapse of Graves disease, a thyroid condition for which she was treated in 1989.
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