George and Barbara Bush cut their wedding cake, Rye, New York on Jan. 6, 1945.
George and Barbara Bush cut their wedding cake, Rye, New York on Jan. 6, 1945.George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
George and Barbara Bush cut their wedding cake, Rye, New York on Jan. 6, 1945.
George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara with their first child George Walker Bush in 1947.
George H. W. Bush with his wife, Barbara with their children Pauline and George W. on horse in the yard of their Midland, Texas ranch, 1950.
George H.W. Bush, candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, gets returns by phone at his headquarters in Houston, Saturday, June 6, 1964 as his wife Barbara, beams her pleasure at the news.
George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush celebrating his 1966 Congressional win.
Ambassador George H.W. Bush with his wife Barbara at home, 1971.
George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush in China, circa 1974-1975.
Republican Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush, wearing a t-shirt referencing his son George W. Bush, stands with his wife Barbara in Nov. 1978 in Texas.
President George H.W. and Barbara Bush in bedroom get-together with their grandchildren (L-R) Pierce, twins Barbara and Jenna (in bed), Marshall, Jeb. Jr. and Sam LeBlond. 1987.
George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine, Aug. 6, 1988.
President George H.W. Bush and wife, Barbara dance at the inaugural ball at the Pension Building in Washington, on Friday, Jan. 20, 1989.
President George H.W. and Mrs. Barbara Bush walk down the driveway as Millie trots alongside, Walker's Point, Kennebunkport, ME, Aug. 16, 1989.
President and Mrs. Bush play golf on Aug. 7, 1991.
Former 1st couple Barbara and George H.W. Bush enjoying life after presidency, in their living room at home in Houston, TX, 1994.
Former United States President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara shelter from the rain during the Ryder Cup golf competition held at the Valderrama Golf Club, Spain, Sept. 26, 1997.
Barbara Bush wipes water off the shoulder of her husband former US president George H.W. Bush during the inauguration of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, Nov. 18, 2004.
Former U.S. president George H. W. Bush and wife, Barbara Bush, cruise in the back of a golf cart with their dog Millie at their home at Walker's Point on Aug. 25, 2004 in Kennebunkport, ME.
George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush
Former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush are introduced prior to game three of the American League Division Series between the Houston Astros and the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park on Oct. 11, 2015 in Houston, TX.
George and Barbara Bush cut their wedding cake, Rye, New York on Jan. 6, 1945.
George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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See Barbara and George H.W. Bush's Historically Long Love Story in Photos

Barbara Bush, the fierce and beloved matriarch of the Bush family, died at the age of 92 on Tuesday.

The former First Lady had the longest marriage in presidential history — she was married to President George H.W. Bush for 73 years, dropping out of college to follow along as her childhood love grew in his career. The couple met when Barbara Bush (then Barbara Pierce) was a 15-year-old girl on Christmas break.

It was 1941 at a Christmas dance in Greenwich, Conn., when George Bush, a recent Andover graduate, asked fellow guest Jack Wozencraft if he knew the “strikingly beautiful girl” in the red and green holiday-themed dress, Jon Meacham writes in Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. Wozencraft told Bush that the girl was Barbara Pierce, a Rye, N.Y., native who was a senior at the boarding school Ashley Hall in Charleston, S.C., and the daughter of the publishing executive Marvin Pierce. Wozencraft asked if he wanted to meet her and Bush recalled saying, “That was the general idea,” so he introduced George by his nickname Poppy.

After winter break, Barbara Pierce went back to school in the South, but the two became pen pals. They wouldn’t see each other again until spring break, when they went on a double-date to Citizen Kane. He asked her to Andover’s senior prom, where he kissed her on the cheek, “in front of the world,” as she later recalled the moment.

In the summer of 1943, they made it official, as TIME explained in 1989:

The two became engaged that summer in Kennebunkport. It was a secret engagement, Bush says, meaning ''the German and Japanese high commands weren't aware of it.'' But after Bush was shot down over the Pacific in September 1944, Barbara dropped out of Smith in her sophomore year to marry him at the First Presbyterian Church in Rye. ''I married the first man I ever kissed,'' she says. ''When I tell this to my children , they just about throw up.''

Here, take a look back at their love story.

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