Barbara Bush passed away last night. News had emerged over the weekend that her health was failing, and that she had elected to not seek further medical treatment, opting for ‘comfort care.’

Barbara lived a long life in the global and American public eye, first as the Second Lady of the United States during her husband, George H.W. Bush’s Vice Presidency, and then as First Lady after he was elected President in 1988. Her prominence continued as two of her sons became prominent politicians, as George W became President in 2000 and Jeb served as Governor of Florida. 

Barbara was noted for her non-political public stance, which found her greater popularity than her controversial predecessor Nancy Reagan. She eschewed expectations by proclaiming that abortion and homosexuality were personal matters, and that the Republican Party should not take an aggressive stand on them.

Her greatest cause as First Lady was family literacy. She chaired several literary committees and organizations. Most significantly, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which has pushed for raising basic reading levels across the country. The Foundation continues to be supported and led by the Bush family. 

On Twitter, her family’s beloved party offered its condolences: