Here’s How Robin Bush, George H.W. & Barbara’s Daughter, Died At Age Three

Pauline Robinson 'Robin' Bush was just three years old when she passed away.

President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Mrs. Barbara Bush attend the HBO Documentary special screening
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Pauline Robinson 'Robin' Bush was just three years old when she passed away.

George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st POTUS, has passed away at the age of 94. He is survived by his five children: George Jr., Jeb, Dorothy, Neil, and Marvin. George and his wife Barbara were also the parents of a sixth child named Pauline Robinson Bush – affectionately nicknamed Robin – who passed away on October 11, 1953, just a few months before her fourth birthday.

According to Heavy, Robin was George and Barbara’s second child and their eldest daughter. She was born on December 20, 1949, three years after her older brother George Jr. It was not until a decade later in 1959 that George and Barbara gave birth to their second daughter Dorothy, who many who don’t know about Robin presume to be their only daughter.

Robin Was Diagnosed With Leukemia

Little Robin was just three years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia back in 1953. George and Barbara first realized something was wrong with their daughter when she was exhausted with no cause and lacked any interest in playing. According to Heavy, it was when little Robin said, “I’m either going to lie on the bed and look at books or rest outside and watch cars go by.” That George and his wife believed something was wrong.

During an interview with TODAY, their granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager touched base on Robin being diagnosed with leukemia during a time where cancer came equipped with a bad stigma. After Robin’s diagnosis, neighbors wouldn’t allow other children to play with her. Little was known about leukemia and cancer, so parents feared their children might catch it.

When Robin passed away, George and Barbara made the decision to donate her body to science to continue with both the social and medical progress surrounding cancer.

According to Barbara’s 1994 memoir, they took their daughter to the doctor out of concern for her unexplained fatigue when she was diagnosed with leukemia. The doctor’s course of treatment was for George and Barbara to take their daughter home, make her comfortable, tell no one, and wait for her to die.

Thanks to their means, willpower, and love for their daughter, George and his wife were not willing to take their daughter home to die without putting up a fight. They continued to take Robin in for testing and blood transfusions during a time when it was especially difficult to find doctors and health care providers that were even willing to offer treatment to a child with cancer.

According to The Washington Post, the death of Pauline Robinson Bush caused an incredibly strong bond to grow between George Sr., Barbara, and their son George Jr. The trio leaned on each other during that time of great tragedy. Robin’s death also tested and made the marriage of George and Barbara that much stronger.