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Greenwich's Presidential Roots Run Deep With Bush Family

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, was raised on Grove Lane in Greenwich.
George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, was raised on Grove Lane in Greenwich. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

GREENWICH, Conn. -- George Washington may not have slept in Greenwich, but another George who became president called it home while he was growing up.

As the nation marks Presidents Day, Fairfield County is remembered as a place near and dear to many presidents of the United States -- but to two in particular.

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, was raised in the Bush family home on Grove Lane in the Dearfield Park area off West Putnam Avenue and close to one of the town's most impressive public structures, the Greenwich Library.

Bush's father, Prescott, was a U.S. senator from Connecticut from 1952 to 1963. And his son is George W. Bush, the 43rd president.

George H.W. Bush was born in Milton, Mass., but moved as a young child with his family to Greenwich.

He went to Greenwich Country Day School before attending Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. At the age of 18, he volunteered to serve his country after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and he became one of the youngest naval aviators in the U.S. Navy.

He served with distinction and was rescued by a submarine when his torpedo bomber was shot down after attacking a Japanese-held island.

While still in the Navy, Bush married Barbara Pierce on Jan. 6, 1945, in Rye, N.Y. They met her in 1941 during the Christmas holidays at a country club dance in Greenwich.

After the war, Bush attended Yale in New Haven, where his son, George W. Bush was born on campus in 1946. He remains the only president born in the Nutmeg State.

George H.W. Bush moved his young family to Texas and made his fortune in the oil business before entering into Republican politics.

He became vice president in 1980 under Ronald Reagan, and followed Reagan as president in 1988. He lost a bid for re-election in 1992 to Bill Clinton, who settled in neighboring Westchester County, N.Y., after his two terms in office.

George W. Bush lived in New Haven until about the age of 2 but returned to Yale to study as an undergraduate student.

And it may not be the end of the Bush family's presidential legacy: Jeb Bush, son of the 41st president and brother of the 43rd president, looms as a likely Republican candidate for the 2016 race for the presidency.

Fairfield County also is now largely seen as a spot for fundraising and campaigning for presidents.

Most recently, Barack Obama stopped in Greenwich in 2008 for a fundraiser as he campaigned for president and went to Westport in 2012 for a fundraiser as he ran for re-election. In October, Obama attended a fundraiser at a home in Conyers Farm.

The president also stumped in Bridgeport for Dannel Malloy. Obama helped Malloy win the office with election eve appearance in November 2010 and returned in November 2014 as Malloy ran for re-election.

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