Barbara Bush

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Barbara Bush (b. 1925), the wife of former U.S. President George H. Bush and mother of current U.S. President George W. Bush, is noted for her down-to-earth attitudes and style. She once observed to a reporter,

"There's a myth going around that I don't dress well. I dress very well--I just don't look so good."

Sometime later, her directness created a minor international incident. On a foreign visit with her husband, Mrs. Bush was seated next to Japan's late Emperor Hirohito (1901-1989) at a luncheon in Tokyo.

Mrs. Bush was duly complementary as to her surroundings and the décor of the Imperial Palace, but wondered at its seeming newness.

"Was the former palace so old it crumbled," she inquired.

"No," replied Hirohito stiffly, "I'm afraid that you bombed it ..."