Yahoo! News Photo Staff

Barbara Bush: A life in pictures

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She was born to privilege, as the daughter of a successful businessman from an old Yankee family, and married into still more privilege, to the son of a United States senator. But life held even greater triumphs — and a measure of tragedy — for Barbara Pierce, who dropped out of college to marry a dashing young Navy pilot named George H.W. Bush. In more than 70 years together, they moved dozens of times as her husband pursued his career as an oilman in California and Texas, and she bore him six children.

One of them — the second, a girl known as Robin — died in 1953, at the age of 3. But George’s whirlwind political career would carry them both to the heights of power and success. In 1981, Barbara Bush became second lady of the United States, and eight years later, first lady. In 2000, when her firstborn son, George W., was elected president, she became the second woman in American history (the first was Abigail Adams) to be both the wife and mother of a president. And if the 2016 election had turned out differently for her son Jeb, she might have added another presidential branch to her family tree. (Jerry Adler/Yahoo News)

Read: Barbara Bush, the ‘enforcer’ of a political dynasty, is dead by Holly Bailey >>>

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Former first lady Barbara Bush on Aug. 23, 2001, in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Pam Francis/Getty Images)


Barbara Pierce, the future Barbara Bush, in her graduation photo from Ashley Hall, a finishing school in Charleston, S.C., in 1943. (Photo: AP)


Navy Lieutenant George Bush and Barbara Pierce are married in the First Presbyterian Church in Rye, N.Y., on Jan. 6, 1945. (Photo: Corbis)


An infant George W. Bush with his mother, Barbara Bush, and his father, George H.W. Bush, posing for a portrait in New Haven, Conn., in April 1947. (Photo: Newsmakers/Getty Images)


Future president George W. Bush, center, poses with father George Bush and his mother, Barbara Bush, in Rye, N.Y., in summer 1955. (Photo: Newsmakers/Getty Images)


Barbara Bush and George Bush pose with children Neil Bush, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, and Marvin Bush in 1956. (Photo: Newsmakers/Getty Images)


George Bush, candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, listens to vote returns at his headquarters in Houston on June 6, 1964, as his wife, Barbara, beams with pleasure at the news. Bush was leading his opponent, Jack Cox, in the runoff primary. (Photo: Ed Kolenovsky/AP)


George Bush and his wife, Barbara, cast their votes in Houston for the Texas senate primary race, June 6, 1964. (AP Photo/Ed Kolenovsky)


George H.W. Bush sits on the couch with his wife, Barbara, and their children in 1964. George W. Bush sits at the right behind his mother. Behind the couch are Neil and Jeb Bush. Sitting with the parents are Dorothy and Marvin Bush. (Photo: AP)


Rep. George Bush and his wife, Barbara, are shown in Houston as a network television program predicted his defeat in the U.S. Senate race against Lloyd Bentsen, the Democratic candidate, on Nov. 3, 1970. (Photo: AP)


Barbara Bush on April 13, 1971. (Photo: Anthony Camerano/AP)


President Gerald Ford, right, and first lady Betty Ford, second from left, visit with George H.W. Bush, chief of the U.S. Liaison Office, and his wife, Barbara, at the liaison office in Beijing on Dec. 4, 1975. (Photo: AP)


Barbara Bush, wife of the man nominated to head the Central Intelligence Agency, looks up from her needlepoint as her husband prepares to testify before the Senate Armed Service Committee on Dec. 16, 1975, in Washington. (AP Photo/CWH)


George Bush is sworn in as new director of the Central Intelligence Agency by Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart, left, as Barbara Bush and President Gerald Ford, at right, look on at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., Jan. 30, 1976. (Photo: AP)


Republican presidential candidate George Bush looks at his wife, Barbara, Nov. 1, 1978, in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Dirck Halstead/Liaison/Getty Images)


George Bush beams as some of his family members applaud at the National Press Club in Washington on May 1, 1979, as he formally announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. From left are: Jeb, a son; Columba, a daughter-in-law; Marvin, a son; Dorothy, a daughter; Barbara Bush, his wife; and Bush. (Photo: Taylor/AP)


George and Barbara Bush pose for a picture with their children: Dorothy, Neil, Marvin, Jeb, and George on July 1, 1980, in Kennebunkport, Maine. (Photo: Dirck Halstead/Getty Images)


George Bush, who campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination for two years, announced on May, 26, 1980, at a news conference in Houston that he was dropping out of the race with Ronald Reagan. (Photo: Ed Kolenovsky/AP)


Barbara Bush, wife of Vice President George Bush, asks photographers if they are through taking pictures, as she stands suspended in a bucket truck in the rain while putting the star atop the National Christmas Tree, Dec. 1, 1981, in Washington. (Photo: Jeff Taylor/AP)


Vice President George Bush sits with his wife, Barbara, while playing with his dog Fred in August 1983 in Kennebunkport, Maine. (Photo: Cynthia Johnson/Getty Images)


Vice President George Bush appears with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his wife and Barbara Bush, Jan. 30, 1983, in Bonn, West Germany. (Photo: Hill/AP)


Vice President George H.W. Bush, right, and his wife, Barbara Bush, pose in front of the Taj Mahal on May 13, 1984, in Agra, India. The 17th century monument to love was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved queen, who bore 14 children. (Photo: Sondeep Shankar/AP)


The Prince and Princess of Wales are seen with Vice President George Bush and wife Barbara at a dinner held at the British Embassy on Nov. 14, 1985. (Photo: Terry Fincher/Getty Images)


Vice President George Bush and his wife, Barbara, relax in bed as their daughter and grandchildren join them at home in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1987. (Photo: Getty Images)


Jean Chinetti, software engineer, gives a CAD/CAM computer graphics demonstration to Vice President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, April 15, 1987. (Photo: Jim Wilson/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)


Former President Ronald Reagan greets newly inaugurated President George H.W. Bush as first lady Barbara Bush and Marilyn Quayle (far left) applaud during Bush’s swearing-in ceremony, Jan. 20, 1989, in Washington. (Photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Getty Images)


First lady Barbara Bush and granddaughter Marshall Bush join Joseph Riley as they place the main ornament atop the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in Washington on Nov. 27, 1989. (AP Photo/John Duricka)


First lady Barbara Bush poses with her dog Millie in 1990. (Photo: Doug Mills/AP)


The Princess of Wales Diana with Barbara Bush at the White House, October 1990. (Photo: Jayne Fincher/Getty Images)


Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, chats with Barbara Bush on the lawn of the White House on May 14, 1991, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)


First lady Barbara Bush greets first lady-to-be Hillary Clinton upon her arrival at the White House in Washington, Nov. 1, 1992. Mrs. Bush had some biting advice for Hillary Clinton when the incoming first lady visited the White House in November 1992: “Avoid this crowd like the plague.” (Photo: Ron Edmonds/AP)


First lady Barbara Bush, wife of President George Bush, poses in front of a fireplace mantel adorned with American eagles and Christmas decorations at the White House, Dec. 7, 1992. (Photo: Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)


Boris Yeltsin, President George Bush, and Barbara Bush stand on the lawn in front of the White House in June 1992. Before becoming president, Bush was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and China, cirector of the Central Intelligence Agency, and vice president under Ronald Reagan. (Photo: Dirck Halstead/Getty Images)


President George Bush, Barbara Bush, and Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney visit with Marines taking part in the disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in Homestead, Fla., Sept. 1, 1992. (Photo: David Tucker/National Archvies/Getty Images)


Lady Bird Johnson, President George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, President Gerald R. Ford, Betty Ford, President Jimmy Carter, and Rosalyn Carter pose for a formal group portrait at the Gerald R. Ford Library rededication on April 16, 1997, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)


Presidential candidate George W. Bush stands with his mother, Barbara Bush, during his visit at the Citadel Military Academy, Sept. 23, 1999, in Charleston, S.C. (Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)


George W. Bush takes questions as his parents, George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, and wife, Laura Bush, look on during a brief photo opportunity at Walker’s Point, Kennebunkport, Maine, June 13, 1999. (Photo: Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Getty Images)


Former President George Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush attend the first night session of the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia on July 31, 2000, in Philadelphia, Pa. (Photo: Getty Images)


Laura Bush, left, and Barbara Bush enjoy a speaker’s comment at a “W Stands for Women” rally to help support the Republican ticket, Oct. 18, 2000 in Southfield, Mich. (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)


President-elect George W. Bush attends an event hosted by wife Laura celebrating America’s authors in 2000. Sitting with Bush are (left to right) Vice President-elect Dick Cheney, wife Lynne Cheney, former President George Bush, Barbara Bush, Laura Bush’s mother, Jenna Welch, and Bush’s sister, Dorothy Walker Koch. (Photo: Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)