Barbara Bush often jokes that her successful life is a result of marrying well. Her husband’s service as Vice President and President of the United States offered her a unique opportunity to make a difference in the public eye, but since leaving the White House in 1993, this Former First Lady continues to serve others with the same tireless energy, goodwill and good humor that has endeared her to millions around the world.
Born Barbara Pierce, she grew up in Rye, New York, where she met and later married George Herbert Walker Bush on January 6, 1945. The Bush’s first daughter, Robin, died in 1953 after fighting leukemia, but today the family includes four sons (George W., Jeb, Marvin and Neil); one daughter (Dorothy); four daughters-in-law; one son-in-law; and fourteen grandchildren. Their eldest son, George W., was sworn in as the nation’s 43rd President on January 20, 2001.
Throughout her years in public life, Mrs. Bush volunteered in and supported hundreds of charity and humanitarian causes. Today, she continues her service as AmeriCares ambassador-at-large, and as a supporter of various organizations, including the Leukemia Society of America, Ronald McDonald Houses, and the Boys & Girls Club of America.
Her number one cause, however, is family literacy. In 1990, she helped develop the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy whose mission is to support the development of family literacy programs, break the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy, and establish literacy as a value in every American family. She currently serves as honorary chair of the Foundation and hosts its annual fundraiser, “A Celebration of Reading.” To learn more about the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, visit their web site at www.barbarabushfoundation.com.
Her involvement in the literacy cause does not end with her foundation. She regularly undertakes a myriad of projects and a rigorous appearance schedule designed to emphasize reading as a part of daily family life. By visiting literacy programs across the country—in schools, housing projects, organizations and businesses—she witnesses, first hand, the powerful impact reading has on self-esteem and family dynamics.
She authored C. Fred’s Story and the best-selling Millie’s Book, whose profits benefited the literacy cause. Most recently, she wrote Barbara Bush: A Memoir, her best-selling autobiography emphasizing the importance of family, faith and friends.