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Greenwich's Presidential Roots Run Deep With Bush Family

An official portrait of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, only the second father and son to serve as president.
An official portrait of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, only the second father and son to serve as president. Photo Credit: George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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 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 boarding school at 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 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 in the Navy, Bush married Barbara Pierce on Jan. 6, 1945, in Rye, N.Y. They met in 1941 during the Christmas holidays at a country club dance in Greenwich.

After the war, Bush attended Yale University 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 later 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 he returned to Connecticut to study at Yale as an undergraduate.

Greenwich was also home — at least part time — to President Donald Trump, who once owned a sprawling estate in town. He bought the waterfront property — knowns as Haroldlyn House — in 1984 for $4 million and sold it in 1998 for $16 million.

Fairfield County is largely seen as a spot for fundraising and campaigning for presidential candidates.

Barack Obama stopped in Greenwich in 2008 for a fundraiser and went to Westport in 2012 for another one. In October 2014, Obama attended a Democratic Party fundraiser at a home in Conyers Farm in Greenwich.

Last year, Bill Clinton appeared at a private fundraiser at a home in Bridgeport's Black Rock neighborhood to stump for his wife, Hillary Clinton, while she was seeking the Democratic nomination to run for president.

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