Married by age 19 and mother to six children, Barbara Bush had lived many lives before she became First Lady at age 63, having lived in 28 homes in 17 cities. With her children grown and her husband the Director of the CIA, Mrs. Bush began to dedicate herself to promoting literacy across the country. In addition to speaking at events, she wrote a book about the family dog, C. Fred, and donated the proceeds to literary groups. During her first year as First Lady, she was diagnosed with Graves’s disease. Despite the discomfort and constant medication, she kept up a full schedule, promoting literacy and fighting against prejudice aimed at those infected with AIDS.  
Facts and quotations from First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama by Betty Boyd Caroli. C-Span is exploring the influence of First Ladies in its series.  
Image: Barbara Bush, Official White House photograph, 1989. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Married by age 19 and mother to six children, Barbara Bush had lived many lives before she became First Lady at age 63, having lived in 28 homes in 17 cities. With her children grown and her husband the Director of the CIA, Mrs. Bush began to dedicate herself to promoting literacy across the country. In addition to speaking at events, she wrote a book about the family dog, C. Fred, and donated the proceeds to literary groups. During her first year as First Lady, she was diagnosed with Graves’s disease. Despite the discomfort and constant medication, she kept up a full schedule, promoting literacy and fighting against prejudice aimed at those infected with AIDS.  

Facts and quotations from First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama by Betty Boyd Caroli. C-Span is exploring the influence of First Ladies in its series.  

Image: Barbara Bush, Official White House photograph, 1989. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.