Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Life After the Presidency

When George H. W. Bush left the presidency, he and his wife returned to Houston, Texas. There, they settled back into private life and reclaimed their lives as active citizens in their community. The former President volunteered at their church and sat on various boards, including one for a local hospital. The Bushes divided their time between Houston, Texas, and Kennebunkport, Maine, where the Bush family had long had a residence.

Bush also threw himself into preserving his legacy through his presidential library. The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated in 1997 on the west campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The library and museum holds the official documents and private papers from Bush's career including his presidential years. Bush also joined with former President Bill Clinton after a tsunami from the Indian Ocean struck Southeast Asia in December 2004. The two former Presidents created the Bush-Clinton Houston Tsunami Fund, a national fundraising campaign to provide assistance to damaged communities throughout the region.

Bush became enmeshed in politics again through the careers of his sons, Jeb Bush and George W. Bush. Both sons held elected office: George was governor of Texas (1995-2000) and Jeb was governor of Florida (1999-2007). When George W. was elected President in 2000, the Bushes became the first father and son to be elected President since John Quincy Adams was elected in 1824. Within the Bush clan, the first President Bush was often referred to as "Forty-One," and the second as "Forty-Three."