Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday. She was 92.
Family spokesman Jim McGrath confirmed the death in a statement. The cause wasn’t immediately known.
Mrs. Bush brought a grandmotherly style to buttoned-down Washington, often appearing in her trademark fake pearl chokers and displaying no vanity about her white hair and wrinkles.
“What you see with me is what you get. I’m not running for president — George Bush is,” she said at the 1988 Republican National Convention, where her husband, then vice president, was nominated to succeed Ronald Reagan.
The Bushes, who were married Jan. 6, 1945, had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. And Mrs. Bush was one of only two first ladies who had a child who was elected president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.
“I had the best job in America,” she wrote in a 1994 memoir describing her time in the White House. “Every single day was interesting, rewarding, and sometimes just plain fun.”
The publisher’s daughter and oilman’s wife could be caustic in private, but her public image was that of a self-sacrificing, supportive spouse who referred to her husband as her “hero.”
In the White House, “you need a friend, someone who loves you, who’s going to say, ‘You are great,'” Mrs. Bush said in a 1992 television interview.
Her coiffed, matronly appearance often provoked jokes that she looked more like the boyish president’s mother than his wife. Late-night comedians quipped that her bright white hair and pale features also imparted a resemblance to George Washington.
Eight years after leaving the nation’s capital, Mrs. Bush stood with her husband as their son George W. was sworn in as president. They returned four years later when he won a second term. Unlike Mrs. Bush, Abigail Adams did not live to see her son’s inauguration. She died in 1818, six years before John Quincy Adams was elected.
Mrs. Bush insisted she did not try to influence her husband’s politics.
“I don’t fool around with his office,” she said, “and he doesn’t fool around with my household.”
In 1984, her quick wit got her into trouble when she was quoted as referring to Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, as “that $4 million — I can’t say it, but it rhymes with rich.”
“It was dumb of me. I shouldn’t have said it,” Mrs. Bush acknowledged in 1988. “It was not attractive, and I’ve been very ashamed. I apologized to Mrs. Ferraro, and I would apologize again.”
Daughter-in-law Laura Bush, the wife of the 43rd president, said Mrs. Bush was “ferociously tart-tongued.”
“She’s never shied away from saying what she thinks. … She’s managed to insult nearly all of my friends with one or another perfectly timed acerbic comment,” Laura Bush wrote in her 2010 book, Spoken from the Heart.
In her 1994 autobiography, Barbara Bush: A Memoir, Mrs. Bush said she did her best to keep her opinions from the public while her husband was in office. But she revealed that she disagreed with him on two issues: She supported legal abortion and opposed the sale of assault weapons.
“I honestly felt, and still feel, the elected person’s opinion is the one the public has the right to know,” Mrs. Bush wrote.
She also disclosed a bout with depression in the mid-1970s, saying she sometimes feared she would deliberately crash her car. She blamed hormonal changes and stress.
“Night after night, George held me weeping in his arms while I tried to explain my feelings,” she wrote. “I almost wonder why he didn’t leave me.”
She said she snapped out of it in a few months.
Mrs. Bush raised five children: George W., Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy. A sixth child, 3-year-old daughter Robin, died of leukemia in 1953.
In a speech in 1985, she recalled the stress of raising a family while married to a man whose ambitions carried him from the Texas oil fields to Congress and into influential political positions that included ambassador to the United Nations, GOP chairman, and CIA director.
“This was a period, for me, of long days and short years,” she said, “of diapers, runny noses, earaches, more Little League games than you could believe possible, tonsils and those unscheduled races to the hospital emergency room, Sunday school and church, of hours of urging homework or short chubby arms around your neck and sticky kisses.”
Along the way, she said, there were also “bumpy moments — not many, but a few — of feeling that I’d never, ever be able to have fun again and coping with the feeling that George Bush, in his excitement of starting a small company and traveling around the world, was having a lot of fun.”
In 2003, she wrote a follow-up memoir, Reflections: Life After the White House.
“I made no apologies for the fact that I still live a life of ease,” she wrote. “There is a difference between ease and leisure. I live the former and not the latter.”
Along with her memoirs, she wrote C. Fred’s Story and Millie’s Book, based on the lives of her dogs. Proceeds from the books benefited adult and family literacy programs. Laura Bush, a former teacher with a master’s degree in library science, continued her mother-in-law’s literacy campaign in the White House.
The 43rd president was not the only Bush son to seek office in the 1990s. In 1994, when George W. was elected governor of Texas, son Jeb narrowly lost to incumbent Lawton Chiles in Florida. Four years later, Jeb was victorious in his second try in Florida.
“This is a testament to what wonderful parents they are,” George W. Bush said as Jeb Bush was sworn into office. He won a second term in 2002, and then made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Sons Marvin and Neil both became businessmen. Neil achieved some notoriety in the 1980s as a director of a savings and loan that crashed. Daughter Dorothy, or Doro, has preferred to stay out of the spotlight. She married lobbyist Robert Koch, a Democrat, in 1992.
In a collection of letters published in 1999, George H.W. Bush included a note he gave to his wife in early 1994.
“You have given me joy that few men know,” he wrote. “You have made our boys into men by bawling them out and then, right away, by loving them. You have helped Doro to be the sweetest, greatest daughter in the whole wide world. I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”
Mrs. Bush was born Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York. Her father was the publisher of McCall’s and Redbook magazines. After attending Smith College for two years, she married young naval aviator George Herbert Walker Bush. She was 19.
After World War II, the Bushes moved to the Texas oil patch to seek their fortune and raise a family. It was there that Bush began his political career, representing Houston for two terms in Congress in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
In all, the Bushes made more than two dozen moves that circled half the globe before landing at the White House in 1989. Opinion polls were taken over the next four years often showed her approval ratings higher than her husband’s.
The couple’s final move, after Bush lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton, was to Houston, where they built what she termed their “dream house” in an affluent neighborhood. The Bush family also had an oceanfront summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
After retiring to Houston, the Bushes helped raise funds for charities and appeared frequently at events such as Houston Astros baseball games. Public schools in the Houston area are named for both of them.
In 1990, Barbara Bush gave the commencement address at all-women Wellesley College. Some had protested her selection because she was prominent only through the achievements of her husband. Her speech that day was rated by a survey of scholars in 1999 as one of the top 100 speeches of the century.
“Cherish your human connections,” Mrs. Bush told graduates. “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.”
Son Jeb Bush remembered his mother in a statement released on his Facebook page: ““Columba and I join every member of the Bush family in offering our sincere gratitude for the outpouring of love and support for my Mom in recent days, and throughout her remarkable life. I’m 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. Thank you for your prayers, and we look forward to celebrating and honoring her life and contributions to our family and great nation in the coming days.”
Grandson George P. Bush, whose father Jeb ran for president in 2016, remembered his grandmother on Twitter, writing, “My grandmother’s entire life was focused on others. For my grandfather, she was his top adviser and confidante. For her family, she was a steady, loving and guiding hand. And for her country, she was an inspiration and an example for all.”
More PHOTOS Of Ronaldinho’s Two Beautiful Fiancees
According to reports in Brazil, Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho, 38, is reportedly engaged to two beautiful women, and he’s set to tie the knot in August with the pair Priscilla Coelho and Beatriz Souza.
The Former World Player of the Year proposed to the ladies in January last year and gave them both engagement rings, according to Brazilian columnist Leo Dias.
The pair who are said to be friends has been living with the former Barcelona star since December at his £5million Rio de Janeiro mansion, according to reports.
The women receive an “allowance” of around £1,500 from the footballer for upkeeps.
The wedding is expected to hold at a private ceremony inside the Santa Monica condominium, in the upmarket Barra da Tijuca district in Rio.
See Photos below!!!
Anas hurt, BBC disappointed; Sefa Kayi breached confidentiality : Baako
The mentor of Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Mr Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has explained the circumstances that led to the breach of confidentiality between President Akufo-Addo and Anas and led to the reporting of Kwesi Nyantakyi to the police ahead of the outdoor of the documentary on sports corruption. According to him, it was agreed that the Presidency would have responded to the exposé on the part that concerns President Akufo-Addo a day before or on the day the documentary was to be shown, however, that was not done.
Investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ latest work on sports corruption expected to be shown on June 6, 2018, is a joint project between Tigereye and the BBC.
However, even before the documentary is shown, there has been a reaction with President Akufo-Addo reporting the Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi to the police for influence peddling and defrauding by false pretense using his [Akufo-Addo] name based on evidence captured in the documentary.
Nyantakyi saga: Presidency breached confidentiality – Baako Explaining the circumstances that led to the breach of confidentiality on Metro TV’s Good Morning television discussion programme Thursday, Mr Baako, the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper said it was for ethical reasons that they couldn’t go and put out the documentary without giving President Akufo-Addo an opportunity to view and respond.
That, he said, would have been “criminally irresponsible so that opportunity was offered him [Akufo-Addo].
“We knew that the project was not complete and the time it would be outdoors to the public, the date had been stated as 6th June.”
“Let me be honest, the President [Akufo-Addo] watched some few minutes, about 5 minutes or so of the video project, those portions that concern the president.”
I had my own difficulty with how things have unfolded – Kweku Baako. Adding, Mr Baako said there was a certain confidentiality agreement that they had reached with the President, “I think people are reading so much into it, there was no formal written agreement, it was more or less a gentleman’s agreement between the two sides, the President on one side and the Tigereye cum BBC on the other side.”
He said the two sides agreed to let the president watch those portions that concern him and interview him for his reaction since it was all part of the investigative process, “and they graciously agreed, and it was also good for the other side so that nobody gets hints of what was coming.”
“It appears that what triggered the presidential intervention or response was that on Kwami Sefa Kayi’s show [Kokrokoo] on Tuesday he dropped a hint that the president had been mentioned, the vice president too had been mentioned and that gave the impression that we too were breaching that confidentiality because Kwami was perceived as being part of us, I [Baako] might have told Kwami so how did he get to know and why did he drop it?
“And then that particular disclosure was picked up by various people, social media ….as if that meant the president was guilty or implicated, so that triggered their response, very unfortunate, I’m disappointed but I understand. I debated, I protested, they made their case, I evaluated and I realized that well here is a situation you have a whole president, he had given his word, he will keep cool till the day or two before and then suddenly out there, its been said that he was mentioned, it’s a huge office and he has also got integrity, which for me is indestructible…, so they reacted and that reaction changed the dynamics.
“Indeed I can tell you that the BBC is disappointed that this happened. I was disappointed, Anas disappointed because none of us knew that there was going to be a response, I got to know after the event had taken place.”
Mr Baako added that Mr Sefa Kayi himself has conceded.
Showing Anas exposé to Akufo-Addo before public wrong – Alban Bagbin
“I read also and in this case, it is a very experienced politician Mr [Alban] Bagbin saying that it was wrong for the President to have viewed it before, incredible, absolutely incredible. If he [Bagbin] were to be in that situation, would he be happy if this thing was put out there before your response is solicited, would he be happy. Even the ethics alone compelled the investigators to give the President that option of watching and in any case, it was not as if he watched all the video,” Mr Kweku Baako said.
The emphasis is on football, this is about football corruption…it so happens that in the course of the investigations, the GFA boss is captured peddling influence to the extent of mentioning political people in the political establishment then the mixture of politics and football came in, otherwise the focus is on football.”
Mr Baako reiterated that letting the President see it and ask for his reaction is part of the investigative process and that if the president had not been mentioned nobody will go and give him the chance to watch anything, because it would be unnecessary, needless. And it is required, ethics of us to give him the chance… and I’m surprised that an experienced politician is canvassing the option that no, somebody who is mentioned in a negative way during an investigation should not be given the chance.
“I’m surprised that whatever it is, the matter has moved one stage relative to a personality, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi. The many other characters and actors in that project whose time will come and if indeed the relevant authorities think that what they involved in amounted to some violation or infraction of the law,” he addeBC disappointed; Sefa Kayi breached confidentiality – Baako
Kufuor is evil, Mahama a rogue : Rawlings jabs
Former President Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings has said former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama who ruled the country after him were evil and corrupt leaders.
According to him, former President Kufuor is ‘evil’ and former President Mahama is a ‘rogue’ who destroyed the country.
He said, “I know with my integrity when I die, I will go to heaven but when I see these corrupt leaders, I will ask permission from God and flog them.
“If they don’t leave heaven for me, I will go and leave the heavens and join Satan in hell because I cannot stay in the same place with them,” Mr Rawlings stated.
Mr Rawlings made these statements when the chiefs and people of Mepe in the North Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region paid a courtesy call on him to officially invite him to the final funeral rites of Mamaga Awusi Sreku II, queen of the Mepe Traditional Area.
He said former President Kufuor came to sell some Ghanaian companies to foreigners and awarded himself with the Grand Order of The Star and Eagles of Ghana.
Mr Rawlings said former President Kufuor, during his time, also tried to sideline Ewes in the military, adding that it came to a time when the service was looking for senior officers and were enlisting 40 in every region.
He said “when it got to Volta Region they tried to substitute the well-known names with their own people, but when the list got to Burma Camp they did the right thing.”
He described former President Mahama as a rogue who superintended over corruption.
Mr Rawlings lamented that during former President Mahama’s era, he personally negotiated for a project to be established at Vorlor in the North Tongu area “but before I released, some party executives had shared the land among themselves.”
He said people from the Volta Region have faithfully voted for the National Democratic Congress on many occasions but they have nothing to be proud of because they live in poverty coupled with bad road network.
The chiefs and people of Mepe, who were hosted by the Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said the late Mamaga Awusi Sreku III was a great queen who ruled for over 63 years and described her as a big loss to the nation.
Mr Ablakwa said pre-burial rites would start on Friday, August 17, with interment on Saturday, August 18, at the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Mepe and thanksgiving service on August 19 in the same church.
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