George H. W. Bush Mourns Barbara Bush in First Statement: 'We Have Faith She Is in Heaven'

Former president George H.W. Bush has released his first statement since the death of his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush.

"I always knew Barbara was the most beloved woman in the world, and in fact I used to tease her that I had a complex about that fact. But the truth is the outpouring of love and friendship being directed at The Enforcer is lifting us all up. We have faith she is in heaven, and we know life will go on – as she would have it. So cross the Bushes off your worry list," the statement reads.

Bush's statement comes just hours after his son, former president George W. Bush, spoke out about the loss of his mother in a social media post dedicated to the 92-year-old, who passed away Tuesday. In his post, he wrote that he was a "lucky man" that Barbara Bush was his mother and praised her for passion for literacy and her sense of humor throughout her life.

Barbara Bush passed away on Tuesday after announcing over the weekend that she would not seek further treatment for her failing health. A statement from the office of her husband commemorated her.

"A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17 2018 at the age of 92," it read. "She is survived by her husband of 73 years, President George H. W. Bush; five children and their spouses; 17 grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; and her brother, Scott Pierce. She was preceded in death by her second child, Pauline Robinson 'Robin' Bush, and her siblings Martha Rafferty and James R. Pierce."

"The official funeral schedule will be announced as soon as is practical," concluded the statement.

The former first lady, who became known as The Enforcer, was the only woman to see her husband and son sworn in as U.S. presidents. Her husband served as the 41st president from 1989 to 1993, while her son was elected the 43rd president and served from 2001 to 2009. She was the second woman in U.S. history to share that relation with two presidents, the other being Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, the second president, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president.


Barbara Bush was also the second lady from 1981 to 1989 while her husband worked as Vice President under President Ronald Reagan. From the beginning of her husband's political career, she participated in political groups, particularly those aimed at Republican women.

She was best known for her work advancing universal literacy. She described literacy as "the most important issue we have," and created the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy during her time as first lady. In particular, the organization sought to put an end to the generational cycle of illiteracy, especially in the United States.