On the Eve of Her Death, Barbara Bush Sipped Bourbon

Heartbroken family pays tribute to matriarch
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2018 4:03 AM CDT
Updated Apr 18, 2018 6:26 AM CDT
In this Nov. 14, 1988, file photo, then-President-elect George HW Bush and his wife, Barbara, are shown during a morning beachfront news conference in Gulf Stream, Fla.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
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(Newser) – The matriarch of the Bush family has died—but family associates say Barbara Bush was her irrepressible self until the very end. "Some of the recent emails indicate she is not quite ready to sign off. She’s answering all of her phone calls herself," family friend C. Boyden Gray, White House counsel to husband George HW Bush, told People hours before the 92-year-old died Tuesday. Another family friend told CBS reporter Jenna Gibson on Tuesday that although she was having difficulty breathing, Bush was "alert and was having conversations last night. She was also having a bourbon." A roundup of coverage:

  • First lady facts. Bush, who was born Barbara Pierce, was not only the wife of the 41st president and mother of the 43rd, she was a distant relative of Franklin Pierce, the 14th president, USA Today reports in a look at lesser-known Barbara Bush facts.

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