The former First Lady was known for her wit and passion for literacy.
David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
Published April 19, 2018
Published 3 months ago
Former first lady Barbara Bush died on Tuesday at her home in Houston, Texas. She was 92.
Born Barbara Pierce in 1925 in Rye, New York, she met George Herbert Walker Bush at a school dance in Connecticut when she was 16; she married him three years later, in 1945. Their 73-year marriage was the longest of any first couple in U.S. history and, of course, their children included, most famously, both a president and a governor.
A fierce political campaigner who was passionate about the importance of literacy, she established the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 1989. Since its inception, the foundation awarded more than $40 million and created more than 1,500 literacy programs. Bush was also known for her plain-spoken, family-first wisdom. Here, some of her most memorable quotes:
Getty Images“Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house.”
Wally McNamee/Corbis via Getty Images“I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell my children that, they just about throw up.”David Valdez/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images“The home is the child’s first school, the parent is the child’s first teacher, and reading is the child’s first subject.”Gregory Smith/Corbis via Getty Images“And who knows? Somewhere out there in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse. I wish him well!”
Carol T. Powers/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”Getty Images"Focusing on the family is the best place to start to make this country more literate, and I still feel that being more literate will help us solve so many of the other problems facing our society,"forrester images ltd/Contour by Getty Images“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.”
Bettmann/Bettmann Archive"Fathers and mothers, if you have children, they must come first. You must read to your children and you must hug your children and you must love your children."David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images“The American Dream is about equal opportunity for everyone who works hard. If we don’t give everyone the ability to simply read and write, then we aren’t giving everyone an equal chance to succeed.”Wally McNamee/Corbis via Getty Images“If you help a person to read, then their opportunities in life will be endless.”
Diana Walker/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images“I am still old and still in love with the man I married 72 years ago.”Justin Sullivan/Getty Images“At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.”David Valdez/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images"We are two people but we are one." - George H. W. Bush