Washington: The Former First Lady of the US, Barbara Bush, died on Tuesday at the age of 92 after having been in failing health for some time, a family spokesperson said.
"A former First Lady of the US and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the age of 92," Bush family spokesperson Jim McGrath said in a statement.
The cause of her death has not yet been revealed, but on Sunday a family spokesman had said that Mrs. Bush decided to refuse further medical treatment, except for "comfort care", Efe reported.
The wife of former President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993) and mother of former President George W. Bush (2001-2009) had suffered chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for some time, which affected her cardiac capacity and led to hospitalisation on numerous occasions over the past years.
"Barbara Bush was a fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I'm a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother," George W. Bush said in a statement released by the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Born on June 8, 1925 in New York, Barbara Pierce -- her maiden name -- was the second woman in the US history to be the wife of one US President and the mother of another, the first being Abigail Adams in the early 19th century.
She became very popular in her country as an advocate for universal literacy, a cause for which she actively participated with various organisations and to which she felt very close as her son Neil was diagnosed as dyslexic.
The former first lady continued her crusade for literacy and created her own foundation, "The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy," which globally supports organisations that promote reading habits among children and adults.