Former First Lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92 after an undisclosed condition.
The New York-born politician was known for her fiery rhetoric, and former president George W Bush called her a “fabulous First Lady”.
In a statement about her death, her son said:
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 then.
And in remembering mother Bush, a clip of her talking at Wellesley College in 1990 has resurfaced.
Students at the university had initially launched a protest petition and argued that the First Lady was not a ‘career’ woman.
Instead of responding in anger, or by cancelling her speech, she said the following:
Who knows? Somewhere out in this audience, may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse. And I wish him well.
The implication being, of course, that it was she who was really president; it was she who was in control – not her husband, George Bush.
The speech was electrifying, and she added:
The first is to believe in something larger than yourself, to get involved in some of the big ideas of our time. I chose literacy because I honestly believe that if more people could read, write, and comprehend, we would be that much closer to solving so many of the problems that plague our nation and our society.
And early on I made another choice, which I hope you'll make as well. Whether you are talking about education, career, or service, you're talking about life -- and life really must have joy. It's supposed to be fun.