Local leaders are sharing their memories and paying tribute to former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30 at age 94.
Bush, a Republican who served as president from 1989 to 1993, initiated the Gulf War and signing the Americans With Disabilities Act, among other historic actions. He was the father of George W. Bush, who also became a U.S. president.
Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul served in Bush’s administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“I was honored to be asked to serve in President H.W. Bush’s subcabinet as assistant secretary of HUD,” Paul said in an email. “Both during and after his presidency, I had several occasions to be with him. He was one of the kindest, most thoughtful human beings I’ve ever met.”
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said in a written statement that Bush campaigned for him on several occasions, and expressed thoughts on behalf of himself and his wife Dianne.
“America and the world will miss and mourn the life and service of George H.W. Bush,” Isakson said. “President and Mrs. Bush were and always will be an unforgettable first family. I was honored to serve and work with them. Dianne and I extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Bush family.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms noted Bush’s advocacy of volunteerism, which he often referred to as a “thousand points of light,” and that the city is home to Points of Light, a nonprofit that formed in response to his call.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of President George H.W. Bush, a great American whose record of service and love of country are surpassed only by his devotion to family,” Bottoms said in a written statement. “As home to Points of Light, the city of Atlanta recognizes President Bush’s many contributions outside the sphere of politics and we join our country in mourning his passing.”
Sam Massell, Buckhead Coalition president and former Atlanta mayor, is shown with Bush in a photograph in last year’s biography “Play It Again, Sam.”
“I was fortunate to share a brief meeting with President Bush on a visit of his to Atlanta, when I found him to be every bit the gentleman you could want our president to be,” Massell said in an email. “When I told him about Buckhead, he listened as though it was the center of America!”
This story will be updated as responses come in.