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Remembering Barbara Bush

Former first lady Barbara Bush attends day two of the Republican National Convention in 2008.
Former first lady Barbara Bush attends day two of the Republican National Convention in 2008.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday. She was 92.

After several hospitalizations, Bush opted to begin receiving “comfort care” earlier this week, according to a statement from the family.

As NPR reports, “Bush will go down in history as one of just two women to be both the wife of a U.S. president and also the mother of one.”

She was as famous for her undyed hair and fake pearls as she was for her self-deprecating humor — from the moment she moved into the White House, Bush, who poked fun at her designer duds and those pearls, made it clear she was going to be a different kind of first lady from her very glamorous predecessor, Nancy Reagan.

“Barbara Bush certainly wasn’t afraid to laugh at herself,” said first lady biographer Myra Gutin. “She worked very hard to show that she was just a real person.”

Gutin says Bush was popular in part because she was a throwback to old-fashioned values and because she pushed back against popular conventions of beauty.

When she was about to become first lady, she quipped, “My mail tells me that a lot of fat, white-haired, wrinkled ladies are tickled pink.”

“That’s vintage Barbara Bush,” says Gutin.

GUESTS

Kate Andersen Brower, Journalist and author of “First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies”; @katebrower

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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