Richest PoliticiansRepublicans
Net Worth:
$25 Million
Jun 8, 1925 - Apr 17, 2018 (92 years old)
United States of America
💰 Compare Barbara Bush's Net Worth

What was Barbara Bush's Net Worth?

Barbara Bush was an American philanthropist and former First Lady of the United States who had a net worth of $25 million at the time of her death in 2018. Barbara Bush was most famous for being the wife of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. His term lasted from 1989 to 1993. Her children include former US President George W. Bush and former governor of Florida Jeb Bush. Notably, Bush is one of only two women, the other being Abigail Adams, to be the wife of one US president and the mother of another.

Early Life and Education

Barbara Bush was born as Barbara Pierce on June 8, 1925 in New York City to Pauline and Marvin, and was brought up in the coastal suburb of Rye. She had two older siblings named Martha and James, as well as a younger brother named Scott. Her father gained recognition when he became the president of McCall Corporation, the publisher of the popular women's magazines McCall's and Redbook. For her education, Pierce went to Milton Public School from 1931 to 1937; Rye Country Day School until 1940; and finally the Charleston, South Carolina boarding school Ashley Hall until 1943. She excelled in athletics and enjoyed tennis, swimming, and cycling. Pierce went on to attend Smith College.

Marriage and Children

While on vacation in Greenwich, Connecticut as a 16-year-old, Pierce met Phillips Academy student George H. W. Bush at the Round Hill Country Club. A year and a half later, the two got engaged just before Bush went to serve in the Navy during World War II. The couple finally married in early 1945. They proceeded to move frequently around the United States, living in states such as Maryland and Virginia before settling in Texas. Over the first 13 years of their marriage, the Bushes had six children: George W., Pauline, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy.

Years in Texas

The Bushes had some of their most significant early years in Texas, where George worked in the oil business and helped found the Zapata Corporation. In 1963, George was elected as chairman of the Harris County Republican Party; the next year, he unsuccessfully ran for the Senate. By this time, the Bushes had made their name on the national political scene.

First Years in Washington

In 1966, George was elected to Congress as a representative from Texas. He was elected or appointed to a number of other government positions over the subsequent years, with his wife accompanying him on the campaign trail. As the wife of a congressperson, Barbara took on various charity projects and got involved in Republican women's groups in Washington. After her husband was appointed as an ambassador to the United Nations in the early 70s, she started developing relationships with prominent diplomats.

China Years and Depression

The Bushes relocated to China in 1974 when George was appointed head of the US Liaison Office in the country. There, they often cycled and explored various cities and regions. In 1977, George was recalled to the States to become the director of central intelligence at the CIA. During this time, Barbara felt disillusioned with her life and felt she was not accomplishing her goals, sending her into a depression. Instead of seeking help, she started giving speeches and presentations about her years in China.

Barbara Bush

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Second Lady of the United States

In 1980, George ran as the running mate of Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, who won the election. Barbara thus became the Second Lady of the United States, a position she held from 1981 until 1989. During this time, she became interested in literacy issues due to the dyslexia of her son Neil, and worked with a variety of literacy organizations. She also penned a children's book entitled "C. Fred's Story," and continued her speaking engagements.

First Lady of the United States

Upon the presidential inauguration of her husband in 1989, Barbara became the First Lady of the United States. In this role, she continued her commitment to issues of family literacy, getting involved with several literacy organizations and chairing various reading groups. She eventually helped establish the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. In addition to literacy, Barbara supported LGBTQ rights, AIDS awareness, and abortion access. She was active in the White House Historical Association and helped revitalize the White House Preservation Fund, renamed by her as the White House Endowment Trust.


After leaving the White House in 1993, the Bushes returned to Texas. Their son George W. became the governor of Texas shortly after that. Barbara later campaigned for him when he announced his presidential bid in 1999. In 2016, she grudgingly campaigned for her other son Jeb's presidential run.

Illness and Death

In 1988, Barbara was diagnosed with Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder. She later developed COPD and congestive heart failure due to her chronic smoking. In the spring of 2018, Barbara Bush passed away at her home in Houston at the age of 92. Her husband, who had coincidentally also been diagnosed with Graves' disease, died seven months later in late 2018 at the age of 94.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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