Barbara Bush Dead at 92: Inside Former First Lady's Nearly 80-Year Love Story With George H.W. Bush

The pair met in 1941 when she was just 16 years old.

The love story of George and Barbara Bush covered nearly eight decades.

Barbara Pierce was just 16 when she spied a 17-year-old "Poppy" Bush at a Connecticut Christmas dance. 

"I could hardly breathe, I thought he was so beautiful," she would later say on the "Today" show.

George invited her to his senior prom, where Barbara received her first kiss.

"I kept the poor girl I was rooming with awake all night talking about how Poppy Bush is the best living human on the face of the Earth," Barbara wrote in her memoir.

But George enlisted in the Navy and was sent to Japan in 1942. From there, he wrote dozens of love letters to his future bride.

"I love you, precious, with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life," read one. "How often have I thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours some day. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you. Thank you, Bar."

The couple married in 1945. She gave birth to George W. Bush the following year. She bore six children in all, but daughter, Robin, tragically died of leukemia just weeks before her fourth birthday.

She rarely left her husband's side and was a fierce mother and wife.

"I'm the mother of wonderful children and the wife of the world's greatest man," she once said.

She was also there when her husband jumped out of a plane on his 90th birthday.

And he was there for her on Tuesday. "He held her hand all day today and was at her side when [she] left this good earth," a statement released by the former president's office read.