Renaissance Man


Drew Anderson, Journalist

George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st president of the United States of America. On November 30, 2018, the people of the U.S. got the news that he had passed away. After he passed, I got the idea of researching his legacy. I asked one IHS teacher and one of my friends, Mr. Sealy and Brendan Duffy , about their thoughts on the man. I have always admired the well-rounded man that he represented: athlete, academic, and veteran.

The first question I asked Mr. Sealy was,“Do you know where George H.W. Bush was born?” He responded with “Mass.” He also decided to say that he completely guessed and got lucky. Brendan replied with “Texas.” George H.W. Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts. He is the son of an American banker and politician, Prescott Bush. Bush spent most of his childhood in Massachusetts and attended Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. As he grew older, he was involved in many sports including baseball, basketball, and football. After high school, Bush joined the U.S. Naval Reserve. He served from 1942 to 1944. He was a torpedo bomber pilot on aircraft carriers on the Pacific during WWII. Bush flew about 58 combat missions and was even shot down by the Japanese in 1944. In 1945, he married his lovely wife, Barbara Pierce.

The second question I asked Mr. Sealy was “Do you know where Bush got his education for college?” He said “Yale University. I know this because he was on the baseball team there.” Brendan answered with “ Harvard”, but then he changed his answer to “Yale.” Brendan also added, “I don’t know why I said Harvard because I know he went to Yale for baseball.” Bush attended Yale University in Connecticut and graduated in 1948. After graduation, Bush moved his young family to Texas and became a salesman for an oil business. He helped co-found Bush-Overbay Oil Development Company. In 1959, he became active in the republican party in Houston. He ran for U.S. Senate, but lost to democrat, Ralph Yarborough. In 1966, he was appointed to the U.S. House of Representatives. Again, he gave up the seat in the House of Representatives and ran again for U.S. Senate. He lost again to democrat, Lloyd Bentsen, Jr.. Shortly after his defeat, President Richard Nixon appointed Bush to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Around 1980, he ran for president, but he agreed with his opponent Ronald Reagan. He threw his support behind Reagan, and later, Reagan chose Bush for his running mate. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush beat the Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale campaign, and Bush became vice president. They served two terms together until 1988. In 1988, he took the role of running for president and chose Dan Quayle as his running mate.

I asked Mr. Sealy the following three-part question: “Do you agree with George H.W. Bush’s views; do you also know what years he served his term; and do you know what number president he was?” He responded with “I guess so. A few things went wrong, but it went alright.” Mr. Sealy was also referring to Bush’s comments about “no new taxes,” and then he raised the taxes. He also said that Bush was the 43rd President. I corrected him, “It was 41.” He then responded with “I was pretty close.” He also said he served from 1988-1992 and immediately after said “ Was I close again?” He served his term from 1989-1993. Brendan added that he didn’t know much about Bush’s presidency.

The first lady always plays a big role in the White House and is an inspiration for women and men alike. The fourth question I asked Mr. Sealy was “Do you know what impacts his wife, Barbara, had on the world?” He was not hesitant on his response and said, “She was like the queen of the family; ‘Matriarch’ is what he called her, “ She gave her opinion when necessary.” Brendan said he didn’t know much about Mrs. Bush but she seemed like a powerful women.

George H.W. Bush was a man of many talents: a baseball player, a businessman, a fighter pilot in World War II, and a political leader. Bush will always be remembered by anyone and everyone.