Barbara Bush High School:
|Ashley Hall, Charleston, SC (1943)|
Barbara Bush College:
|Smith College, Northampton, MA (dropped out)|
Barbara Bush, born Barbara Pierce, was raised in Rye, New York in a family that counted 14th U.S. president Franklin Pierce among its ancestors. She attended boarding school Ashley Hall in South Carolina. Barbara loved reading from an early age, but also enjoyed sports and riding her bike. She met her future husband - who would go on to become the 41st president of the United States - at age 16 during a school dance, and they were engaged after a year-and-a-half courtship. While her new fiancé went off to fight in World War II, Barbara attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. There her attention was focused more on her bomber-pilot fiance's safety than on her schoolwork; when he returned safely in 1945, she and George Bush were married and she dropped out of Smith. While her husband went on to numerous and successively higher seats of public office, Barbara Bush never finished her formal education, but spent the rest of her life advocating for issues of literacy after her son Neil (not her son, George, who would also become a U.S. president) was diagnosed with dyslexia. Today she is associated with her work in several literacy organizations, and is well known for having more progressive views than her husband on issues such as abortion and homosexuality. Several schools and a library have been named after her; she continues to read daily.