Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor's Statement on Death of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

April 17, 2018 -- Statement by Mayor Sylvester Turner:

"Barbara Pierce Bush was best known to the world as the wife of a president and the mother of another, but in Houston we also knew her as a local leading light, an achiever in her own right who spoke and acted from the heart and the gut. She was a focused advocate for literacy and volunteerism; she was the brightest light among the “Thousand Points of Light” her husband charted; and frankly her kindness and counsel to me, away from the public gaze, will remain valuable as well as unforgettable.

"For these reasons and more, I join Houstonians and her many admirers around the globe in mourning her death and expressing heartfelt condolences to our treasured neighbor, Former President George H.W. Bush, and the rest of the Bush family.

"The former president and former first lady weren’t born in Houston but they got here as soon as they could. Mrs. Bush quickly turned to volunteerism and grassroots political work in our city. The help she provided to local charities, on her way to becoming 'The First Lady of Literacy' through the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, left a wonderful legacy even though much of it took place behind the scenes.

"As they express sorrow about her passing, many people will comment on the inspiring figure she became on the world stage. That role should never be overlooked. But as mayor, I suggest we also remember her as the refined-yet-salty Houston jewel she was.

"Few may have noticed that after Hurricane Harvey, her foundation and the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provided a combined $2 million for resources, supplies and books at schools and public libraries disrupted by the storm disaster. And so her great works live on, along with our recollections.

"In her loving memory, the City of Houston and the Houston Public Library Foundation will work to complete the master planned improvements to the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza in front of the Jesse H. Jones Central Library."