Comedy icon Betty White has died at the age of 99 and President Joe Biden is among the many fans and prominent world figures that are now paying tribute. President Biden was informed by the press about Betty White‘s death while out and about with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and immediately responded in the moment by saying, “That’s a shame! She was a lovely lady.” Dr. Jill Biden also chimed in on Betty White’s passing by asking the most pertinent question of all: “Who didn’t love Betty White?”
“We’re so sad about her death,” the First Lady added.
President Biden took a second to consider the span of Betty White’s life, stating, “99 years old… As my mother would say: ‘God love her.'”
The list of tributes for Betty White are filling up social media – so much so that they may overtake the New Year’s Eve celebration. White’s onscreen “grandson” Ryan Reynolds was one of the first big celebrities to pay tribute, stating:
“The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.”
Betty White’s agent and friend Jeff Witjas also shared his mourning, telling 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. 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.”
PEOPLE had just released a feature on Betty White’s upcoming 100th birthday, and had asked the icon what her secret was to living and working so well, for so long:
“I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age,” Betty White said. “It’s amazing.”
She noted that being “born a cockeyed optimist” was what kept her positive and going. “I got it from my mom, and that never changed. I always find the positive.”
Indeed, White’s ability to find the lighter side was a gift she shared with the world for nearly three-quarters of a century. She even ended her final interview on a joke that will now go down as her final zinger. When speaking on how she stayed alive so long, White said:
“I try to avoid anything green. I think it’s working.”
R.I.P. to the late, great, Betty White.