George H.W. Bush
In His Own Words



The President started writing letters at 18. His written words throughout the years offer a unique perspective of the man behind the legacy.


“The Navy itself is great, but what we are here for is even greater …. I am proud to be here Nance, and as I said before wouldn’t change for the world.”

A 1942 letter to his sister, Nancy, written during his time in Naval Aviation Pre-Flight school in North Carolina.

“I love you, precious, with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life. How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours some day. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you–“

A 1943 letter to his "public fiancé" Barbara Pierce; they married in 1945.

“Her peace made me feel strong, and so very important. ‘My Daddy’ has a caress, a certain ownership which touched a slightly different spot than the ‘Hi Dad’ I love so much. But she is still with us. We need her and yet we have her. We can’t touch her, and yet we can feel her.”

A 1958 letter to his mother after Robin, his 3-year-old daughter, died from leukemia.

“I was asked to take on the CIA — I agreed. I agreed because of a fundamental sense of duty…. I honestly feel like my political future is behind me — but hell, I’m 51, and this new one gives me a chance to really contribute.”

A 1975 letter to a friend describing why he took the job of CIA director.

“It’s a funny thing – when you get older, even if you have an exciting life surrounded by interesting people and having a chance to meet all the world’s leaders – even with all that – what counts is family and love. We love you already, more than tongue can tell.”

A 1984 letter to his new grandchild.

“Barbara is a good cook. I AM A GOOD DISH WASHER. Barbara bought a Sable station wagon and she has driven in it for two days with no accidents. Not bad for 12 years.”

A 1993 letter written days after leaving the White House to American businessman Walter Annenberg. The Bushes hadn't worked outside the gov't (or driven themselves) in over a decade.

In a September 1998 letter to his children, he wrote "Remember the old song ‘I’ll Be There Ready When You Are'? Well, I’ll be there ready when you are where there is so much excitement ahead, so many grandkids to watch grow. If you need me, I’m here. Devotedly, Dad.”

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