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Barbara Bush

As the wife of one president, George H.W. Bush (1989-1993), and the mother of another, George W. Bush (2001-2009), Barbara Bush holds a unique position in American political history. Born in 1925, she married at the age of 19 and devoted much her time to raising her five children (a sixth child died in 1953) and supporting her husband’s career. Initially inspired by her son Neil’s dyslexia, Barbara Bush developed a lifelong interest in the importance of literacy in American society. She continued to champion that cause during her years as first lady, appearing on television and radio shows, delivering speeches and even authoring several books, the proceeds of which she donated to education-based charities. As well-known for her biting sense of humor as she was for her omnipresent set of pearls, Barbara Bush became one of the more popular first ladies of the 20th century.

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