First Lady: 1989 to 1993
Wife of President George Bush
Born: June 8, 1925
Barbara Pierce was born in Rye, New York, the daughter of Marvin and Pauline Robinson Pierce. Her father, Marvin, was the publisher of
Redbook and McCall's magazines. Barbara went to Ashley Hall Prep School in Charleston, South Carolina and after graduating, entered Smith College in 1943.
In 1942, she had met George Bush at a Christmas dance, and they describe their relationship as "love at first sight." George at this time was in the Navy, and as a result of meeting her, named his bomber plane "Barbara" after her. In 1943 Barbara visited George at a training school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where they became secretly engaged. Barbara dropped out of Smith College to marry George, and they were married on January 6, 1945 in Rye, New York. Throughout their long marriage the Bush's never had the chance to put down roots, as they had lived in 29 homes in 17 cities. In their first year of marriage, they lived in an off-campus apartment while George was attending Yale University. After graduating from Yale, they moved to Odessa, Texas, where George wanted to start out on his own. In Texas, George made millions of dollars in the oil business.
George and Barbara had six children; four sons and two daughters (one daughter died of leukemia in 1953, at the age of four).
Barbara as First Lady is described as a direct, well-organized, independent lady. In her dress, she always dressed for comfort and admitted to wearing fake pearls to hide her wrinkled neck. Barbara has worked very hard for the promotion of adult literacy, as her son Neil is suffering from dyslexia. She also visits young cancer patients at hospitals, as a result of the leukemia death of her daughter.
In 1989, she organized the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. She also is involved in various children's programs such as Head Start and Chapter One. Barbara wrote a humorous book titled, C. Fred's Story about Washington as seen through the eyes of the former family dog. As her hair turned white, making her look much older then George (as she is one year younger), her children nicknamed her "The Silver Fox" but George calls her "Bar." In retirement they have continued their writing.
John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying
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the author. From The First Ladies of the United States by John T. Marck.