Former first lady Barbara Bush dies aged 92

Former US first lady Barbara Bush has died aged 92, triggering an outpouring of praise for the matriarch of a Republican family once at the apex of American politics.

Only the second woman ever to see both her husband and son sworn in as US president, the Bush family revealed she passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning after a long illness.  

The family had said on Sunday that her health was failing as she would seek no further medical treatment for congestive heart failure.

Mrs Bush, the wife of President George HW Bush and the mother of George W Bush was being cared for at her home in Houston, Texas. 

Hailed by many as the most popular First Lady to preside at the White House, Mrs Bush’s plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband. 

Barbara Bush: a life in pictures

President Donald Trump was one of the first to pay tribute to Mrs Bush, who is widely regarded to have been the rock at the centre of one of America’s most prominent political families. 

Mr Trump hailed her as an "advocate of the American family."

Barbara Bush waves alongside her son and husband in 2007Credit:
Jason Reed/Reuters

"Amongst her greatest achievements was recognising the importance of literacy as a fundamental family value that requires nurturing and protection," he said.

"She will be long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family, both of which she served unfailingly well."

Her son Jeb wrote: "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."

And his son George P. Bush tweeted: "I will miss you, Ganny-but know we will see you again."

Madeleine Albright, who under Democratic president Bill Clinton was the first woman to serve as US secretary of state, remembered Bush as a "woman of incredible determination, wit and compassion who embodied America’s best values."

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