Barbara Bush believed literacy could cure other ills

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Barbara Bush came up with the idea of focusing on literacy as first lady during a jog in 1978, the year her husband considered his first run for president.

While running, Bush realized that teaching more people to read could help decrease other major problems.

In March 1989, mere weeks after moving into the White House, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. It has since raised more than $110 million to create or support literacy programs for men, women and children nationwide.

The foundation doesn’t have an exact count of how many people have benefited from programs it supported, but says it’s “easily in the hundreds of thousands.”

Bush remained active with the group until months before her death Tuesday, at age 92.