A love that stood the test of time: George HW Bush and wife Barbara were married for an incredible 73 years
The couple, whose enduring love is often talked about, had been by each other's side for decades, supporting each other through their difficult times and the good ones.
Former President George H.W. Bush passed away on November 30 at the age of 93, a few months after he was separated from his partner of 80 years, former First Lady Barbara Bush who died at their home in April, in Houston. The former president openly shed tears at her funeral eight months ago as the couple has now left us with a lasting legacy and an example of a remarkable love. The couple, whose enduring love is often talked about, had been by each other's side for decades, supporting each other through their difficult times and the good ones.
Barbara, shortly before she passed away, had talked about her incredible love story with George, saying: "Still in love with the man I married 72 years ago." The former first lady had offered an intimate insight into her relationship with her husband in a romantic essay she had written for her alma mater's magazine. Barbara, in the essay, wrote: "I am still old and still in love with the man I married 72 years ago. George Bush has given me the world. He is the best — thoughtful and loving."
The couple who met at age 16 (Barbara) and 17 (George) at a Christmas dance in Connecticut, in 1941, went on to become the longest-married presidential couple in America's history.
"They became engaged a year-and-a-half later, just before he went off to war as a Navy torpedo bomber pilot,” according to the official White House biography. The couple, during their long-distance relationship, shared love letters, in which she called him Poppy and he called her Bar. The couple married on January 6, 1945, as the former first lady once said: "I married the first man I ever kissed."
The couple had six children, including former President George W Bush, and fourteen grandchildren.
George HW Bush Sr, not long after her death, issued a short statement about his wife and paid tribute to the "relentless proponent of family literacy," he said while wearing a pair of book-patterned socks at her funeral. George, who is generally seen as stoic, also broke into tears during the ceremony when his son, former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush read aloud of the several love letters he wrote for his late wife.
The pair's granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager, took to Instagram and shared a tribute to the couple, saying her grandmother loved her grandfather dearly: "She adored my Gampy, the first man she ever kissed; their love story is so ingrained in the history of our family."