Happy birthday, Barbara Bush!

- From the George H.W. Bush Library:

Barbara Bush often jokes that her successful life is a result of marrying well. Her husband's service as Vice President and President of the United States provided her a unique opportunity to make a wonderful difference in the public eye. Since leaving the White House in 1993, she continues to serve others with the same energy, goodwill and humor that endear her to so many people around the world.

Born in 1925 to Pauline and Marvin Pierce, she grew up in Rye, New York, where she met and later married George H.W. Bush on January 6, 1945. They have four sons, George W., Jeb, Marvin, and Neil; one daughter, Doro; four daughters-in-law; one son-in-law; 20 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. The Bush family's first daughter Robin died in 1953 at the age of four after fighting Leukemia. Public service is a common thread in the Bush family. Their son George W. served as the Governor of Texas and the nation’s 43rd President, and their son Jeb was the Governor of Florida for two terms.

A tireless advocate of volunteerism, Mrs. Bush helped countless charities and humanitarian causes during her years in public life. Today she enjoys reading to children at schools and hospitals across the nation.

Mrs. Bush's primary cause through the years has been promoting literacy. She believes that so many of our nation's problems would be solved if every man, woman and child could read, write and comprehend. In 1989 she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy which supports family literacy programs where parents and children can learn and read together. The Foundation works to bring the benefits of literacy to every family in America by awarding money to build effective family literacy programs. It has awarded over $40 million to create or expand 902 family literacy programs in all 50 states including the District of Columbia, and it helped create and continues to support four statewide literacy programs in Texas, Maine, Florida and Maryland. Doro Bush Koch and Jeb Bush serve as Co-Chairs and Mrs. Bush serves as Honorary Chair of the Foundation. You can learn more about the Foundation at www.barbarabushfoundation.com.

She authored two children's books, C. Fred's Story and the best-selling Millie's Book, whose profits benefited literacy. She also wrote the best-selling Barbara Bush: A Memoir and Reflections: Life After the White House.

Photos courtesy of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation

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