In this 2004 photo, then-President George W. Bush delivers a tribute to his father George H.W. Bush as his siblings, Doro Bush Koch, Jeb, Marvin, and Neil look on. (Getty)
Former President George H.W. Bush died at the age of 94 this week, just a little more than seven months after his wife, Barbara Bush, died at the age of 92. George and Barbara Bush were married in 1945 and have six children: George Walker Bush, Robin Bush, Jeb Bush, Neil Mallon Bush, Marvin Pierce Bush, and Dorothy Bush Koch. All their children are still living but Robin, who died in 1953.
Here’s what you need to know about George H.W. and Barbara Bush’s children.
1. George & Barbara’s Daughter, Robin Bush, Died in 1953 of Leukemia
Barbara and Robin Bush in 1953. (George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Audiovisual Archive)
George and Barbara suffered intense loss in their life, dealing with a tragedy that no parent ever wants to endure. When their daughter Robin was only three, in 1953, she was diagnosed with leukemia. The doctors told them that there was no hope for a cure. They first realized something was wrong when Robin became fatigued, listless, and didn’t want to play anymore. They didn’t accept the diagnosis, and took her for blood transfusions and bone marrow tests. But Robin still died, just before she turned four.
Barbara Bush said of that moment: “I was combing her hair and holding her hand. I saw that little body, I saw her spirit go.”
Jenna Bush Hager, George Bush’s granddaughter, wrote on Instagram about how she had a chance to talk to her grandfather about the afterlife and Robin. “He said… Yes, I think about it. I used to be afraid. I used to be scared of dying. I used to worry about death. But now in some ways I look forward to it… Well, when I die, I’m going to be reunited with these people that I’ve lost… I hope I see Robin, and I hope I see my mom. I haven’t yet figured out if it will be Robin as the three year old that she was, this kind of chubby, vivacious child or if she’ll come as a middle-aged woman, an older woman… I hope she’s the three-year-old.”
This is the post that Jenna shared:
View this post on Instagram
This brought me such comfort this morning. I had the opportunity to talk with my grandpa about the afterlife. This is what he said: He answered without any hesitation. “Yes, I think about it. I used to be afraid. I used to be scared of dying. I used to worry about death. But now in some ways I look forward to it.” And I started crying. I managed to choke out, “Well, why? What do you look forward to?” And he said, “Well, when I die, I’m going to be reunited with these people that I’ve lost.” And I asked who he hoped to see. He replied, I hope I see Robin, and I hope I see my mom. I haven’t yet figured it out if it will be Robin as the three year old that she was, this kind of chubby, vivacious child or if she’ll come as a middle-aged woman, an older woman. And then he said, “I hope she’s the three-year-old.” Robin was the daughter this giant of a man lost years before to leukemia. The little girl he held tightly: who spoke the phrase I have heard Gampy repeat for my entire life, forever knitting Robin’s voice into the tightly woven fabric of our family: “I love you more than tongue can tell.”
A post shared by jennabhager (@jennabhager) on
2. Two of George and Barbara’s Children, Jeb and George W., Followed in Their Dad’s Footsteps
Former U.S. President George W. Bush shakes hands with his father, former President George H.W. Bush. (Getty)
Two of George and Barbara’s children followed in their dad’s political footsteps. George W. Bush was the 43rd President of the United States, after serving as Governor of Texas. He’s the oldest son of George and Barbara. He and his wife, Laura, have two children: Barbara and Jenna.
George W. Bush was one of the last people that George H.W. Bush talked to before he died. They spoke on the phone and his father told George W. that he loved him. Now, George W. is scheduled to deliver the eulogy at his father’s funeral. His daughter Barbara told People about the eulogy: “I think he also wants to make sure that he can get through it himself, without– you know, he lost his father and is also devastated, so to be able to get through the eulogy without breaking down is something else that he’s working on.”
Barbara, George W.’s other daughter, said that her grandfather was very present in her life, People reported. She said that once they stayed overnight when he was vice president, and rather than preparing for presidential debate the next day against Michael Dukakis, George and Barbara spent the day playing with her and Jenna. At one point she realized her stuffed tiger Spikey was missing and George even went outside looking for it, even though he had a debate the next day.
Former US President George H.W. Bush (C) and his son, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R), arrive at the West Wing of the White House in Washington on January 30, 2010. (Getty)
Jeb Bush ran for president in 2016 and served as the 43rd governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. Jeb has three children of his own with his wife, Columba Bush: George P., Noelle, and John Ellis Bush, Jr. Jeb gained a following after his presidential run, which even included someone crowdfunding a red velvet birthday cake for “Sad Jeb” in January 2017.
His son George Prescott got married in 2004 and has two sons. He was elected Texas Land Commissioner in 2014. He was the only member of the Bush family who said publicly that he planned to vote for Donald Trump for President, Vanity Fair reported.
Jeb’s son Jeb Bush, Jr. was married in 2010 to Sandra and has two daughters, Georgia and Vivian. He and Sandra, who was born in Canada and is of Iraqi descent, met in London when he was traveling on business. He was often seen on the campaign trail with his dad when Jeb was running for President in 2016. He is managing partner at Bush Ventures, partner at Bush Realty LLC, and partner at Jeb Bush & Associates, LLC, according to his LinkedIn.
Jeb’s daughter Noelle struggled with addiction at times in her life, The New York Times reported. In 2015, Jeb Bush spoke with HuffPost about Noelle’s struggles. “She went through hell. And so did her mom and so did her dad. And it was a private setting, but then it became very public when I was governor. And it wasn’t easy.”
After his father passed away, Jeb Bush wrote on Twitter on December 1, “I already miss the greatest human being that I will ever know. Love you Dad!”
3. Dorothy Bush Koch’s Marriage Was Once Called a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Match
In this 2002 photo, then-President George W. Bush and his wife Laura escort his parents and his sister Dorothy as they leave St. John’s Episcopal Church. (Getty)
Dorothy Bush Koch, George and Barbara’s only living daughter, was born in 1959. She’s named after her grandmother, Dorothy Walker Bush. Dorothy has been married twice. She had two children with her first husband, William LeBlond: Samuel LeBlond and Nancy Ellis (now Ellie LeBlond Sosa.) Doro and LeBlond divorced in 1990.
According to Samuel LeBlond’s LinkedIn, he works as an account manager with Premium Distributors in D.C. He previously worked for Reyes Holdings for nine years, and he graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in history in 2006. In 2016, Sam and Lee Bobbitt were married in Lubbock. Sam once said that he learned the importance of friendship and respect for others from his grandparents, Parade reported.
Ellie actually appeared in one of George H.W. Bush’s campaign ads in 1988, running across a yard into her grandfather’s arms, The Maine Magazine reported. According to UNE.edu, Ellie now works for a Boston-based health care non profit and is a certified holistic health counselor. She also teaches fitness in Boston and around the world. She co-wrote “George and Barbara Bush: A Great American Love Story.”
In 1992, Doro married Robert P. Koch, a marriage that some coined a “Romeo and Juliet” type of match. Before they were married, Koch was a top aide for House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Baltimore Sun reported. Gephardt, a dedicated Democrat, was a frequent critic of Bush. Their wedding was at Camp David. Dorothy and Robert have two children: Robert David and Georgia Grace “Gigi” Koch.
According to Gigi’s LinkedIn, she worked as a summer intern to the House Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives in the summer of 2017. She was also a special events intern for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2016, and a marketing intern for Lindsay Cadillac in 2015. She is graduating with a bachelor’s in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 2018. Her brother, Robert Koch, is 25.
4. Marvin Bush, Their Youngest Son, Endorsed Gary Johnson for President
Marvin Bush and his son Walker make their way from a helicopter May 11, 2008 at the Texas State Technical College Airport in Waco, Texas. (Getty)
Marvin Bush, born in 1956, is George and Barbara’s youngest son. He was named after his grandfather, Marvin Pierce. This past year, Marvin grabbed headlines when he announced that he wasn’t endorsing Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for President, but was instead putting his support behind Libertarian Gary Johnson.
Marvin worked as director of HCC Insurance Holdings, a publicly traded insurance company. He also appeared in the 2008 documentary about Lee Atwater titled Boogie Man. He’s married to Margaret Conway and they have two children that they adopted in Fort Worth: Marshall Lloyd and Charles Walker.
Marshall, Marvin’s daughter, said that she grew up right outside of D.C. while her grandfather was in office, and spent a lot of time at the White House with her puppy. Now 32, she helped work on George W. Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004. She’s married to Nick Rossi, former Naval Officer. Marshall shared this touching photo of her and George Bush on Instagram:
Marshall’s brother, Charles Walker Bush, was born on December 12, 1989, and went into the Armed Forces. He has an Instagram account, but it’s now private after he generated quite a bit of controversy from some of his posts referring to gun rights and “snowflakes.” Charles once posted a tribute online to his grandfather on George H.W. Bush’s birthday. He wrote: “Happy 91st Birthday to this stud. If I can grow up to be even half the man that he is, then I’ll have done it right.”
5. Neil Bush Made Headlines During a Messy Divorce in 2003
In this 2013 photo, Neil Bush (L) smiles as his father former President George H. W. Bush is pushed past during an event in the East Room. (Getty)
Neil Bush, a businessman and investor, is the fourth of George and Barbara’s six children. He was born in 1955 and was married to Sharon Smith for 23 years. They have three children: Lauren Pierce Bush, Pierce Mallon Bush, and Ashley Walker Bush. They divorced in 2003, which got public attention when he admitted to having affairs in Thailand and Hong Kong.
Neil and Sharon’s daughter Ashley Bush, born in 1989, is a film producer and created a web series called Route by Route, about working women in the Northeast. In 2011, Neil and Sharon’s daughter Lauren married David Lauren (son of designer Ralph Lauren) and they now have two children. Lauren started FEED Projects in 2007, which focuses on addressing world hunger.
Neil and Sharon’s son, Pierce Mallon Bush, is the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, which is a non-profit that pairs children with volunteer mentors. He’s married to Sarahbeth Bush and they are the parents of a golden retriever named Winston Moose.
In 2004, Neil Bush married Maria Andrews, who volunteered at Barbara Bush’s literacy foundation. Maria’s ex-husband, Robert, sued Neil’s ex-wife, Sharon, for defamation in 2003. He and Maria have three children also. His Points of Light bio reports that he and Maria “have six wonderful children and they are proud that the family passion for service has passed on to the next generation.”
Neil now lives in Houston, Texas, where he is chair of the Points of Light. He recently spoke publicly about his dad in a conversation with KBTX. He said about his parents: “My mom was the enforcer. She told us to hang the towels and make the bed and say thank you and please… But Dad set such a great example by his life, that we would want to aspire to do what he would do. He was a great role model, a great inspiration for not just us, but I think he had a huge impact on millions of people in that way.”
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