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Remembering George H.W. Bush

Dec 01, 2018 | Books

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States of America, died at his home in Houston on Friday, November 30, aged 94.

Bush’s term in the Oval Office capped a career of public service that included serving in the Navy during World War II, representing Texas in the House of Representatives, serving as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, chairing the Republican National Committee, holding the position of C.I.A. director, and holding the position of vice president for eight years under President Ronald Reagan. His presidency saw the fall of the Soviet Union and the Persian Gulf War and, upon losing reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992, he spent his post-D.C. days raising money for disaster relief. President Bush also saw two of his sons forge political careers of their own, with Jeb elected governor of Florida twice, and George W. serving first as Texas governor and, ultimately, president of the United States.

In recent years, as the political climate change, a letter President Bush wrote to President Clinton went viral. To his successor, he wrote:

Dear Bill,
When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too.
I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.
There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.
You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.
Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.
Good luck—

For more about the life and career of George H.W. Bush, we recommend the following titles: