A Lifetime of Memories

Mrs. Barbara Bush was known for her love for her family, her patriotism and her dedication to the cause of literacy. Her remarkable legacy will live on in her children, grandchildren, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the millions of children and families who can read today because of her tireless commitment.

Barbara Pierce, age 1, 1926

Photo credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum


June 8, 1925

Barbara Pierce was born in New York City. Her mother, Pauline Pierce, was the daughter of an Ohio Supreme Court justice and dedicated to conservation efforts as a chairwoman of the Garden Club of America. Her father, Marvin Pierce, was a distant descendant of 14th President of the United States Franklin Pierce and president of the McCall Corporation, which published the well-known magazines McCall’s and Redbook.

Barbara Pierce, age 4, 1929

Photo credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Early Life


Growing up in the community of Rye, New York, Barbara Pierce was the third of four children. She was a witty child who loved to read. She attended Milton Public School and Rye Country Day before departing for Ashley Hall, a boarding school in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1940.