The Carter Center released a statement on behalf of President and Mrs. Carter, on the passing of President George H.W. Bush.
“Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened by the death of former President George H.W. Bush,” Carter said. His administration was marked by grace, civility, and social conscience. Through his Points of Light initiative and other projects, he espoused a uniquely American volunteer spirit, fostering bipartisan support for citizen service and inspiring millions to embrace community volunteerism as a cherished responsibility. We again extend our heartfelt condolences to the Bush family.”
Bush died Friday at 94, eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara, at 92. The two hailed from the Northeast and spent much of their lives in Texas, but often had Georgia on their minds.
They began their 73-year marriage here, honeymooning at The Cloister at Sea Island after their New York wedding. Their support was key to the Morehouse School of Medicine and to literacy programs across the state. The Republican stalwarts earned the respect of Georgia political figures from both sides of the aisle and enjoyed strong — and loud — bipartisan support ahead of the 2017 Super Bowl, where the Atlanta Falcons met the New England Patriots.
She rode onto the field in a golf cart and he was conveyed in his wheelchair as the capacity crowd at Houston’s NRG Stadium welcomed them with a thunderous roar. He performed the ceremonial coin toss and she was able to stand to greet Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
“Thoughts and prayers for the Bush family in the midst of former President George H.W. Bush passing away,” Ryan said in a social media post on Saturday.
George H.W. Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts. His first home was on Adams Street, an auspicious address. It was named for the family of President John Adams and President John Quincy Adams, the only other father-son combination to ascend to the nation’s highest office. He was 17 when he met the comely Barbara Pierce, then 16, at country club dance in Greenwich, Connecticut. The future president couldn’t waltz, so he and Barbara talked instead.
With the nation at war, Bush put off Yale University and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his 18th birthday. He and Barbara were engaged in between flight school and his first commission.
“I love you, precious, with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life,” he wrote to his future bride. “How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours someday. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you.”
One of those children, former President George W. Bush, wrote about the letter and other biographical information in “41: A Portrait of My Father,” published in 2014.