Politics: Inside the ‘storybook’ marriage of Barbara and George H.W. Bush — who were married longer than any first couple, and still said ‘I love you’ every night

George H.W. Bush died Friday, November 30 at age 94. Barbara Bush died on Tuesday at age 92. Here is an inside look at her long-lasting marriage with former President George H.W. Bush.

Former President George H.W. Bush died Friday, November 30 at age 94. His wife, the former First Lady Barbara Bush, died in April at age 92.

They are survived by their five children, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings.

Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospitalin April after “contracting an infection that spread to his blood,” according to a statement from Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath. His health had been declining in recent years.

Barbara Bush had been battling Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and congestive heart failure, and was hospitalized several times over the last year.

Bush, who resided in the White House for four years while her husband, served as Commander in Chief, had been married to the 41st president of the United States for 73 years.

Described as a true love story, here is an inside look at the longest marriage in US presidential history:

Barbara Pierce and George Bush met at a dance over Christmas vacation in 1942. She was 16 and he was 17, and Barbara claimed that George was the first boy she ever kissed.

Source: Associated Press

After dating for a year and a half, the two became engaged and planned to get married before George went off to serve in World War II as a Navy pilot. He famously named three of his Navy planes after her, and the two shared love letters while he was away.

On January 6, 1945, the couple married at the First Presbyterian Church in Rye, New York while George was on leave from war. He was 20 and she was 19.

In the first year of their marriage, they moved around to Michigan, Maryland, and Virginia because of George’s naval base assignments. “You have given me joy that few men know,” he once wrote to her in a letter.

Source: The National First Ladies Library

Over the next 13 years, the couple had six children: George, Robin, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy. Robin died of leukemia at the age of three.

Source: The National First Ladies Library

After the war was over, George and Barbara moved the family to Texas, where he entered the oil business. The couple has moved over two dozen times during their marriage.

Source: The National First Ladies Library

George was elected as a congressman from Texas in 1966, and Barbara took care of the children as he campaigned. She would sometimes join him on the trail, and would be there every step of the way as he moved up in the political world.

Source: The National First Ladies Library

When former President Richard Nixon appointed Bush as Chairman of the RNC during Watergate, Barbara urged her husband not take the job because of the political climate in DC. Nevertheless, he accepted the offer.

Source: The National First Ladies Library

When the Bush family lived in China while George served as head of the US Liaison Office under President Gerald Ford, the couple would regularly take bike rides and explore their new home.

George ran for the presidency in 1980, but fell short in the GOP primary to Ronald Reagan. Bush joined Reagan’s winning ticket as his vice presidential candidate and helped the Republicans take back the White House.

When George ran for the presidency in 1988, Barbara again campaigned actively for him and became the second candidate’s wife to speak on their behalf at the party convention. George became the 41st president of the United States.

Source: The National First Ladies Library

After they left the White House in 1993, George and Barbara helped campaign for their children’s quests for public office. The most notable were George W., who served as governor of Texas and the 43rd US president, and Jeb, who served as governor of Florida and ran for president. George W. credits his gubernatorial win to his parents.

Barbara has described her and her husband as “the two luckiest people in the world, and when all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family and friends. We have been inordinately blessed, and we know that.”

Source: Associated Press

“I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband,” George once wrote.

Source: Associated Press

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