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Barbara Bush, the former US first lady and literacy campaigner, has died at the age of 92.She was the matriarchal figure of a political dynasty that included two presidents - her husband George HW Bush and son George W Bush.

Mrs Bush, who was first lady from 1989 to 1993, had been in failing health for some time and had declined further medical treatment.Tributes to her poured in from across the US political establishment.Her husband, at 93, is the longest-lived US president. Their son, George, was elected in 2000 and served two terms as the nation's 43rd president.

He said in a statement: "My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions."

 

Mr Bush said his mother had "kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end", adding: "I'm a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes."

A statement from the office of her husband described her as a "relentless proponent of family literacy".Mrs Bush was also the mother of Jeb Bush, who served as governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007 and unsuccessfully ran for the White House in 2016.As first lady, Mrs Bush went beyond the traditional role of a political spouse, founding the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy to help parents and children from disadvantaged communities to read and write.

She was a fierce advocate of civil rights and went against many of her husband's Republican party supporters with her more liberal view on abortion rights.

 

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