Why We Miss Barbara Bush and These Other Incredible First Ladies

Presidents make their marks on history but first ladies do the same during their husband’s administrations. After they’re no longer in the White House, first ladies continue their own legacies. Learn why we miss late first lady Barbara Bush and other first ladies, ahead.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Jackie Kennedy

She brought style and elegance to the White House. | Evening Standard/Getty Images

Known for her style, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis brought elegance and youth to the White House. She used her status as a first lady in the matters of international diplomacy and had a knack for navigating her public image.

Fun fact: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis charmed the then prime minister of France, Charles de Gaulle, by speaking fluent French.

Hint: Her husband calls her ‘his rock,’ according to The Telegraph.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

She pushed for health initiatives. | Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Former first lady Michelle Obama continues to push for health initiatives she started while in the White House. She planted a garden on the White House grounds and made sure her family ate fresh food from the garden. We miss her down-to-earth style and relatable remarks.

Fun fact: Michelle Obama skipped second grade.

Hint: This first lady went against a president later in life.

Nancy Reagan

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan

She supported Alzheimer’s research. | Ronald Reagan Presidential Library/Getty Images

When her husband Ronald Reagan announced his Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis to the world, Nancy Reagan became an advocate for Alzheimer’s research, according to USA Today. She even went against George W. Bush during his presidency when he made budget cuts to stem cell research.

Fun fact: Nancy Reagan appeared in a 1940 short film to raise money for polio prevention, according to Bustle.

Hint: This first lady held press conferences for people barred from the White House.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D Roosevelt

She championed civil rights. | J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images

Another former teacher, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt championed civil rights and wrote a newspaper column for nearly 30 years, according to History.com. We miss her forward-thinking actions in the White House. As first lady, she held press conferences for women reporters who were banned from press conferences at the time.

Fun fact: She helped draft the U.N.’s Declaration of Human Rights, according to Mental Floss.

Hint: This first lady raised millions for literacy organizations.

Barbara Bush

U.S. President George Bush and wife, Barbara, wave to a crowd of supporters

She raised money for literacy. | J. David Ake/AFP/Getty Images

While serving as first lady, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Throughout her life, she raised money for literacy, even writing a book. Barbara Bush and Abigail Adams are the only women to ever be first ladies and mothers to presidents.

Fun fact: Barbara Bush wore a signature strand of faux pearls.

Hint: This first lady is the most academically accomplished.

Hillary Clinton

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives for a rally

She was a highly educated first lady. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

During her time as a first lady, Hillary Clinton became known for standing by her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, during his cheating scandal. She’s one of the most educated first ladies in history, attending college and law school. She went on to become Barack Obama’s secretary of state and running for president. We miss how modern she made the status of the first lady.

Fun fact: Hillary and Bill Clinton met in a library at Yale, according to CNN.

Hint: This first lady loved to write letters.

Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams

She was a writer. | University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin/Wikimedia Commons

Known for exchanging more than 1,000 letters with her husband, President John Adams, Abigail Adams wrote about politics, patriotism, and her public and private life, according to History.com. What we miss about Abigail Adams is her willingness to voice her opinion, even if only on paper.

Fun fact: She made bullets during the Revolutionary War, according to Mental Floss.

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Read more: 15 Wealthiest First Ladies of the United States