Author Calls Barbara Bush "One Of The Most Prolific Post-White House First Ladies"

Chelsea Wade
April 16, 2018 - 11:03 am
Barbara Bush

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images


News of Barbara Bush's failing health has many people looking back at her time in office and the contributions she continues to make since she left 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Andrew Och, who is known as the "First Ladies Man," wrote "Unusual for Their Time: On the Road With America's First Ladies." The book explores every lady from Martha Washington to Melania Trump. "I wanted to find out what type of woman grows up to become married to a President of the United States. What I discovered was that many of our Presidents married up. Most of these men would not have made it to the White House without the help, influence, and support of their wives. Nearly all of our Presidents married a woman who was unusual for her time," wrote Och.

"She is a wonderful human being," said Och. "She continues to be one of the most prolific post-White House first ladies. The philanthropic work she has done after her husband's time in office has been extensive."

Och added that Mrs. Bush was well-liked by secret service agents, butlers, chefs and other White House staffers. "The ones that have been there for mulitple administrations, they say time and time again, without question, that Barbara Bush was their favorite. She remembers names, birthdays, pet's names, and children's names; she gives gifts for no reason at all; she knows when someone is sick and asks how they are doing. She's just a genuinely nice human being."

Och traveled to nearly every city, birthplace, library and museum for his book about Mrs. Bush and the other 44 first ladies. He said he got to know Mrs. Bush through her hundreds of scrapbooks that go back to when she started dating Mr. Bush in the 1940s. "It was one of the most intimate ways I got to know a first lady. The family photos humanize them. It shows a very, very public family in a very private sense. It's a window into the soul. These pictures show these people that we think we know so well from the cameras and their public service in their most private, familial moments."

Och said he wishes the Bush family his very best and he wishes Mrs. Bush all of the good health in the world.