J.J. Watt shares moving tribute to former 1st Lady Barbara Bush after her death

The Houston Texans defensive end and three-time NFL defensive player of the year had built a friendly relationship with the former first lady before her passing at age 92.

Kahron Spearman

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt paid tribute to former First Lady Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at 92 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure.


Watt has built a warm relationship with the Bush family, especially with the first lady.


The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year expressed his gratitude for their relationship early in the day.

You were a beautiful light in this world and I am forever thankful for your friendship.

J.J. Watt
Defensive end, Houston Texans

Just before the official announcement of her death, Watt spoke kindly of Bush, with whom he'd connected with during Houston-area community and charity functions.

"She's an incredible woman," Watt said yesterday during a press conference. "Her and the entire family have been so kind to me ever since I've been here. Working with her with the literacy foundation and then her working on my foundation, I can't speak enough to how highly I speak of Barbara. My thoughts are obviously with them at this time. She's the best. She can put a smile on your face."