‘Matriarch’ author describes touching last moment between George and Barbara Bush

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closeRemembering Barbara Bush one year after her deathVideo

Remembering Barbara Bush one year after her death

On the anniversary of former First Lady Barbara Bush's death, journalist Susan Page sat down with Fox News's Sandra Smith and detailed one of the last moments shared between Barbara and her husband George.

Page, author of "The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty," described how the pair grew over the course of their marriage and shifted from a more "traditional" relationship in which he "called the shots" to one in which they were more like "partners."

Before her death in 2018, Barbara, wasn't so worried about dying as she was leaving her husband of 73 years. Just two days before she died in April, the two sat together in the den of their home in Houston. Page explained how Barbara "said to him 'George, I'm not going to worry about you'; and he said to her, 'Bar, I'm not going to worry about you.'"

"She gave him permission to live, he gave her permission to die — and you know what they did then? They had a drink," Page said on "America's Newsroom."


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The feisty grandmother was "consequential," Page said, in both her son George W.'s presidency as well as her husband's. She died at the age of 92 after struggling with multiple health issues.

Bush was known for her tough personality, fighting for expanded literacy, and her battle against the stigma surrounding AIDS. "But I think her legacy is perhaps broader," Page said, "kind of an air of civility, of mutual respect."

"And she would tell you that her grandchildren are her true legacy," Page added. One of Barbara's toughest moments, according to Page, was when her 3-year-old daughter Robin died of cancer.


"I came to believe, after doing research for this book, that that was the defining moment of her adult life. It left her harder on the outside and softer on the inside," Page said.

"It was a thread that then continued through the rest of her life. It was a touchstone for her as she thought about the big issues of the day."

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