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Jenna Bush Hager Pens a Touching Tribute to Late Grandfather George H. W. Bush on His Birthday

The 'Today' host honored the late president on what would've been his 100th birthday

Jenna Bush Hager, co-host of Today with Hoda and Jenna, paid tribute to her late grandfather, President George H. W. Bush, on what would have been his 100th birthday.

In his honor, the television personality read a heartfelt letter on The Today Show in memory of the man she knew and loved as “Gampy.” Keep scrolling to read her heartfelt words.

Jenna Bush Hager’s touching tribute to her late grandfather, George H.W. Bush

President George H. W. Bush holds hands with granddaughters Barbara and Jenna, 1989
President George H. W. Bush holds hands with granddaughters Barbara and Jenna, 1989Getty

On June 12, Bush Hager shared her deeply personal letter to her grandfather, former president H.W. Bush, with the Today audience.

“Dear Gampy,

We miss you. We miss your letters and email. We miss racing through the waves of the Atlantic on your boat, fishing, laughing and debating around the dinner table.

We miss your rules: ‘Don’t be afraid to shed a tear when your heart is broken, or when a friend is hurting.’ ‘Nobody likes an over-bearing big shot.’ And ‘As you succeed, be kind to people, thank those that help you along the way.’

We miss your quiet compassion, like the time you shaved your head for the son of your secret service agent who had Leukemia. We miss your belief that we are better when we work together. And your lifelong devotion to our country, as one of the youngest Navy pilots in World War II.

We remember your love of skydiving this week, many of your grandkids, inspired by you, will jump out of a plane — your milestone birthday tradition that you so proudly did in honor of our nation’s military and your service.

You have been gone for 8 years, but we feel you still as we look into the sky and see a thousand points of light, and simple acts of love, and in the smile’s of your great-grandchildren.

Devotedly, Jenna.”

Jenna Bush Hager shared personal stories about her grandfather

During her tribute, the 42-year-old journalist got candid about loss, life lessons and looking back.

President George H. W. Bush pictured reading to his grandchildren in this photo from 1991
President George H. W. Bush pictured reading to his grandchildren in this photo from 1991Getty

Bush Hager recalled of the former president, “He would sit around with friends of all different faiths, of all different political parties, and he loved to debate — that was his favorite thing to do.”

“And he would sit at that table and sometimes there were tears, sometimes there was anger, but there was always love at the root of it,” she continued. “So I would say, think about all of those who came before, the greatest generation…let’s learn from them and their sacrifice of service and family and love. But also, conversation and gentleness.”

Jenna Bush Hager remembered her grandfather’s gentle nature

George H. W. Bush was the 41st president of the United States, serving from 1989 to 1993, succeeded by President Bill Clinton. He passed away in 2018 at the age of 94.

One of the things Bush Hager made a point to acknowledge during her birthday tribute was his temperament and gentle nature, sharing a memory she has in which she saw her grandfather’s photograph on a magazine with the word “wimp” plastered next to it.

“It was because he was gentle, he led with kindness, he wanted to be the type of leader who listened, and it was a stark contrast, because I think being gentle and leading with love is actually the opposite of being a wimp,” she said lovingly of her grandfather.

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