From Prescott to George to… George Prescott!
The extended family of Prescott Bush has two U.S. presidents, a U.S. senator and a state governor (as well as three Georges) among its many members. Here are the more prominent members of the Bush Clan.
(Photo: President George W. Bush and his father, former President George Bush, sit together at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in 2008. White House photo by Eric Damper.)
is the patriarch of the modern Bush family. Born in 1895, he attended Yale, served as an artillery captain in World War I, and later joined a Wall Street firm. In 1952 he became a U.S senator from Connecticut; in the Senate he was known as a moderate Republican and a staunch supporter of president Dwight D. Eisenhower
. He is the father of the 41st U.S. president, George Bush
served as a Navy pilot in World War II, once being shot down during a mission over the Pacific Ocean. After the war he went to Yale, and then entered the oil business. He worked his way up through several political posts, including head of the Republican National Committee and director of the CIA, before becoming vice-president under Ronald Reagan
and then being elected president himself in 1988. Four years later he was defeated by Bill Clinton
was Barbara Pierce when she married George Bush in 1945; he was 20, she was 19. They had six children: George W.
, Robin, John
(known as Jeb), Neil
, Marvin, and Dorothy. (Robin died of childhood leukemia at age 3.) As First Lady, Barbara Bush was especially known for her support of literacy programs; she wrote the best-selling Millie’s Book
(1990, William Morrow), a lighthearted report on White House life as seen by the family dog, with the proceeds going to literacy programs.
George and Barbara’s son JEB BUSH
moved to Florida in 1981, helped start a real estate development firm, and in 1998 he was elected governor. He served two full terms, from 1989-87. Jeb Bush was governor of Florida during that state’s contested presidential elections of 2000 — the elections which pitted his brother George W. Bush
against Democrat Al Gore
. (The brother won.)
Jeb Bush’s son GEORGE PRESCOTT BUSH
got heavy media attention during the 2000 elections as a member of the clan’s next generation. He is a partner in Pennybacker Capital of Austin, Texas, and has remained active in Republican politics. Many consider him a potential future candidate himself, thanks to his political pedigree, good looks and bi-cultural heritage: his mother, Jeb Bush
‘s wife Columba, was born in Mexico.
George P. Bush’s younger sister NOELLE BUSH
got unwanted media attention in January 2002 when she was arrested by police in Tallahassee, Florida for prescription fraud. According to news reports, she attempted to buy the sedative Xanax from a Walgreen’s pharmacy by phoning ahead with a fake authorization from a doctor; upon checking, the pharmacy discovered the doctor had not made the prescription and in fact no longer practiced in Tallahassee. The incident was compared by some to the underage drinking troubles of Noelle’s cousins, Jenna and Barbara Bush.
Noelle went into rehab, but was arrested twice again later the same year: first for possession of prescription drugs, and then for possession of cocaine. She served 10 days in prison.
The youngest of Jeb Bush’s children, JEB BUSH, JR.
, also had a well-publicized scrape with the law in September of 2005. “Jebbie” was arrested for public drunkenness by officers in Austin, Texas, who then tacked on a charge of resisting arrest. After getting out of that scrape, Jeb Jr. picked up the family interest in politics, endoring Rudy Giuliani
for president in 2008.
When GEORGE W. BUSH
became the 43rd U.S. president in 2001, he replaced the man who had beaten his father: Bill Clinton
. Born in 1946, George W. was the oldest of the five surviving children of the former president. Bush was governor of Texas from 1995-2001, when he resigned to take his place as president. He served two full terms as chief executive, from 2001-09. Like his father and grandfather, George W. Bush attended Yale.
and Barbara Bush
are the twin daughters of George W.
and Laura Bush
. They were born in 1981 and are named for their maternal and paternal grandmothers, respectively. Jenna is the blonde; Barbara is brunette. In the fall of 2000 Barbara began attending Yale and Jenna became a freshman at the University of Texas; both graduated in 2004, late in their father’s first term as president.
President Geroge W. Bush’s wife LAURA BUSH
was born in Texas, the Bush clan’s adopted home state. She married George W. in 1977, not long after they were introduced by friends at a backyard barbecue. Laura Bush was by profession a school librarian, and shares her mother-in-law Barbara’s interest in literacy.
NEIL MALLON BUSH
is the third son of George Bush
(the elder) and his wife Barbara
. Neil is also the younger brother of the 43rd U.S. president
. Neil made headlines in the late 1980s and early 1990s as the young director of the Silverado Savings and Loan, a federally-insured bank in Colorado. (He was only 30 when he got the job.) Neil had already been involved in the JNB Exploration oil-drilling company until its financial failure in 1988, and he had the same unfortunate luck with Silverado, which went bankrupt. By 1990 the Silverado bankruptcy was said to have cost U. S. taxpayers $1 billion. For his role in the bank’s failure, Neil was sued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), but he ended up settling the case for $50,000.
Neil’s daughter LAUREN BUSH
made a different kind of splash, turning up in the pages of fashion magazines after she began modelling in her teens. In 2002 she signed a contract do advertising for the clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger, who called her “the quintessential all-American girl.” In 2011 she joined the family of a different designer: she married David Lauren, the son of fashion designer Ralph Lauren.
The Bush clan also shares a special canine connection: George W. Bush’s “First Dog,” an English Springer Spaniel named SPOT
, was a daughter of MILLIE
, Barbara Bush’s co-author and First Dog under Bush the elder. Spot actually lived in the White House during the terms of both George Bush the Elder and George W. Bush. (Wikipedia says this makes her “the only pet to live in the White House during two non-consecutive terms.”) She died, alas, in 2004.
(Official White House photo of Spot the dog on the White House lawn on 28 May 2001.)