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Former first lady Barbara Bush dies at 92

Bush had decided against additional medical treatment following recent hospitalizations.

Former first lady Barbara Bush was the wife of President George H.W. Bush and mother of George W. Bush.
Former first lady Barbara Bush was the wife of President George H.W. Bush and mother of George W. Bush.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Former first lady Barbara Bush, 92, died Tuesday evening, according to the office of former President George H.W. Bush.

Bush had reportedly been in failing health, and her husband’s office released a statement this weekend indicating that the former first lady had “decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will focus on comfort care” following a series of recent 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,” the statement read. “She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”

Bush was the widely admired matriarch of one of America’s most famous political families. Barbara and George H.W. Bush had been married for 73 years and are the parents of former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bush was a passionate literacy advocate, a cause she championed in the White House and throughout her life. “I had the best job in America,” she wrote in a 1994 memoir about her time as first lady. “Every single day was interesting, rewarding, and sometimes just plain fun.”

In a statement, former president George W. Bush said, “Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother.”

Jeb Bush said in a statement that he was “exceptionally privileged to be the son of George Bush and the exceptionally gracious, gregarious, fun, funny, loving, tough, smart, graceful woman who was the force of nature known as Barbara Bush.”

The news of Bush’s passing was met with an outpouring of remembrances and support for her family.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania offered their condolences in a statement. The former first lady, the statement read, will be “long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family, both of which she served unfailingly well.”

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama said Bush represented “the humility and decency that reflects the American spirit.”

Former president Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the former first lady as “fierce and feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes.”

Other politicians and prominent figures, in the US and across the world, celebrated the former first lady’s life and accomplishments.

Bush’s funeral will be held at St. Martin’s Church in Houston, Texas, where the former first lady and her husband were parishioners, according to ABC News 13. A public visitation will be held on Friday in Houston, followed by a private service on Saturday.