Public figures react to the death of Barbara Bush

Within minutes of the news that former first lady Barbara Bush had died Tuesday at the age of 92, tributes began pouring in from political figures, including those in her own family.

George H.W. Bush, her husband of 73 years, issued a statement that praised his wife as a “proponent of family literacy,” and noted that she is survived by 5 children, 17 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and a brother.

In a written statement released by the White House, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump said they “join the nation in celebrating the life of Barbara Bush.”

“As a wife, mother, grandmother, military spouse, and former First Lady, Mrs. Bush was an advocate of the American family,” the statement read. “Amongst her greatest achievements was recognizing the importance of literacy as a fundamental family value that requires nurturing and protection. She will be long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family, both of which she served unfailingly well. The President and First Lady’s thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of Mrs. Bush.”

Former president Obama and his wife, Michelle, issued a statement calling Bush “the rock of a family dedicated to public service.

“We’ll always be grateful to Mrs. Bush for the generosity she showed to us throughout our time in the White House, but we’re even more grateful for the way she lived her life — as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit. She’ll be remembered for passing these values on to her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren — and to the countless citizens whom she and George inspired to become ‘points of light’ in service to others.”

Slideshow: Barbara Bush: A life in pictures >>>

Barbara Bush
Former first lady Barbara Bush. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Bill and HIllary Clinton also paid tribute to Mrs. Bush, calling her “a remarkable woman.”

“She had grit and grace, brains and beauty. She was fierce and feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes. She showed us what an honest, vibrant, full life looks like,” the Clintons said in a written statement.

George W. Bush, the 43rd president, mourned his mother’s passing and honored her legacy.

“My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was,” the former president said in a written statement. “Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”

Jeb Bush thanked those who had wished his family well as news of his mother’s failing health became public.

“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,” the former Florida governor said in a message posted to Facebook. “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.”

While dozens of tributes from politicians rolled in from around the country, there were also remembrances from those outside the political spectrum whose lives Mrs. Bush touched. One came from the Texas Rangers, the professional baseball team in which the Bush family held an ownership stake from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.

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