Culture

Barbara and George H.W. Bush, A Love Story: Their Marriage Over the Years

Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at the age of 92, a spokesperson for the office of George H.W. Bush confirmed. News first broke April 15 that her health was failing, which family spokesperson Jim McGrath confirmed. She didn’t intend to seek further treatment. She is survived by her six children and 14 grandchildren. 

Bush, 92, and H.W. Bush, 93, were married for 73 years, longer than any other first couple.

The pair met as a 17-year-old Barbara Bush was home from boarding school during Christmas break. She attended a dance that George H.W. Bush, then 18, was also present for, the New York Times reported. It appeared to be love at first sight, and the couple married at the Presbyterian Church in Rye, New York, in 1945. "I married the first man I ever kissed," Bush once said, according to The Associated Press. "When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up."

She supported him as he chased his political aspirations, according to Business Insider. She watched over their children when he ran for Congress in Texas in 1966, and she'd often accompany him on the campaign trail. As George H.W. Bush ran for president a second time in 1988, she heavily campaigned for him.

Since exiting the White House, the couple raised over $1 billion for charity, CNN reported.

Barbara Bush struggled with her health for years. She suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure, according to CNN. But the former first lady claimed her love for George H.W. Bush was a big factor in maintaining her health.

"I have had great medical care and more operations than you would believe," Barbara Bush told Smith College's magazine in its Spring 2018 issue. "I'm not sure God will recognize me; I have so many new body parts! Also, George H.W. Bush has given me the world. He is the best—thoughtful and loving."

George, Barbara Barbara Bush and George H.W. have been married for nearly 80 years. Here, H.W. Bush (L) and Bush are pictured at President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush at the Super Bowl 51 between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Al Bello/Getty Images