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Michelle Obama's Emotional Tribute To Betty White Has Fans Everywhere Getting Misty-Eyed

Michelle Obama's Emotional Tribute To Betty White Has Fans Everywhere Getting Misty-Eyed
Billboard Music Awards 2021 via Getty Images; Vincent Sandoval/WireImage/Getty Images

Former First Lady Michelle Obama took to Instagram and posted a heartwarming tribute to Hollywood icon Betty White, who passed away just weeks shy of her 100th birthday.

The beloved actress and animal lover took her last breath in her Brentwood, California home on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2021.

Many tributes started pouring in on social media–including one from Michelle Obama.

The former FLOTUS shared a snapshot on social media of White with the Obama's family dog, Bo, who died last May.

"Betty White broke barriers, defied expectations, served her country, and pushed us all to laugh," wrote Obama. "She was also an animal lover and activist, and Bo loved spending time with her."

"There was no one quite like her, and Barack and I join so many who will miss the joy she brought to the world."

Obama added:

"I know our Bo is looking forward to seeing her up in heaven."

Others who mourned the loss of the American treasure were President Joe Biden, who was among the first to respond to news of White's passing.

“Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans,” Biden tweeted.

“She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed. Jill and I are thinking of her family and all those who loved her this New Year’s Eve.”

White's agent and close friend, Jeff Witjas told PEOPLE:

"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever."
"I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much."

Witjas added:

"I don't think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again."

In spite of having lived a long and relatively healthy life, fans were devastated when they learned of White's death.

Some called for a special tribute on White's birthday, January 17, recognizing her lifelong love and advocacy for animals—donations in her name to local rescues and sanctuaries.

But they took solace in the notion she was likely joining her late The Golden Girls co-stars in sharing a cheesecake just beyond the Pearly Gates.

Fans posted memes imagining a most heavenly reunion.

White's television career spanned seven decades, and she won the hearts of TV viewers from many generations of fans.

In addition to having been a panelist on several game shows like Password, Match Game, The Hollywood Squares, andThe $25,000 Pyramid, she was known for her memorable performances in sitcoms like The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973–1977), The Golden Girls (1985–1992), and Hot in Cleveland (2010–2015).

She is the recipient of eight Emmy Awards in various categories, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award.

White was also a huge pet enthusiast. She was an advocate for animal welfare and she donated to various causes and was actively involved in working with organizations including the Los Angeles Zoo Commission, The Morris Animal Foundation, and the African Wildlife Foundation.

White would have celebrated her centennial birthday on January 17.