PRESCOTT SHELDON BUSH SR. (May 15, 1895 – October 8, 1972) was an
American banker and senator. He was a
Wall Street executive investment
banker and a U.S. Senator , representing
Connecticut from 1952 until
January 1963. He was the father of President
George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush and the
grandfather of President
George W. Bush
George W. Bush , Florida Governor
Jeb Bush ,
Jonathan S. Bush and television personality
Billy Bush .
* 1 Early life
* 2 Business career
Union Banking Corporation
* 3 Political life
* 4 Personal life
* 5 Writings
* 6 References
* 7 Further reading
* 8 External links
Bush was born in
Columbus, Ohio , to Samuel
Prescott Bush and Flora
Sheldon Bush. Samuel Bush was a railroad middle manager, then a steel
company president and, during
World War I
World War I , also a federal government
official in charge of coordination of and assistance to major weapons
Bush attended St. George\'s School in
Middletown, Rhode Island
Middletown, Rhode Island , from
1908-13. In 1913, he enrolled at
Yale College , where his paternal
James Smith Bush (class of 1844), and his maternal
uncle Robert E. Sheldon, Jr (class of 1904) had matriculated. Three
subsequent generations of the
Bush family have been Yale alumni.
Prescott Bush was admitted to the
Zeta Psi fraternity and Skull and
Bones secret society .
George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush and
George W. Bush
George W. Bush are also
members of that society.
Skull and Bones lore,
Prescott Bush was among a group of
Bonesmen who dug up and removed the skull of
Geronimo from his grave
Fort Sill, Oklahoma , in 1918. According to historian David L.
Miller, the Bonesmen probably dug up somebody at Fort Sill, but not
Prescott Bush was a cheerleader, played varsity golf and baseball,
and was president of the
Yale Glee Club .
After graduation, Bush served as a field artillery captain with the
American Expeditionary Forces
American Expeditionary Forces (1917–1919) during
World War I
World War I . He
received intelligence training at Verdun , France, and was briefly
assigned to a staff of French officers. Alternating between
intelligence and artillery, he came under fire in the Meuse-Argonne
After his discharge in 1919,
Prescott Bush went to work for the
Simmons Hardware Company in
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri .
Bush family moved to Columbus, Ohio, in 1923, where Prescott
briefly worked for the Hupp Products Company. In November 1923, he
became president of sales for Stedman Products in South Braintree,
Massachusetts . During this time, he lived in a Victorian house at 173
Adams Street in
Milton, Massachusetts , where his son, George H. W.
Bush, was born.
In 1924, Bush became vice-president of the investment bank A.
Harriman & Co. where his father-in-law,
George Herbert Walker was
president. Bush's Yale classmates and fellow Bonesmen E. Roland
Harriman and Knight Woolley also worked with the company.
In 1925, he joined the
United States Rubber Company of New York City
as manager of the foreign division, and moved to Greenwich,
In 1931, he became a partner of
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. , which
was created through the 1931 amalgamation of A. Harriman & Co with
Brown Bros. & Co.
Brown Bros. & Co. , (a merchant bank founded in
Philadelphia in 1818)
and with Harriman Brothers the family vigorously denied the
connection, but Bush lost to Sen. William Burnett Benton by only 1,000
Prescott Bush sought a rematch with Sen. Benton in 1952, but withdrew
as the party turned to
William Purtell . The death of Senator Brien
McMahon later that year, however, created a vacancy and this time the
Republicans nominated Bush. He defeated the Democratic nominee,
Abraham Ribicoff , and was elected to the Senate. A staunch supporter
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower , he served until January 1963. He
was re-elected in 1956 with 55% of the vote over Democrat Thomas J.
Dodd (later U.S. Senator from
Connecticut and father of Christopher J.
Dodd ), and decided not to run for another term in 1962. He was a key
ally for the passage of Eisenhower's
Interstate Highway System , and
during his tenure supported the Polaris submarine project (built by
Electric Boat Corporation in Groton,
Connecticut ), civil rights
legislation, and the establishment of the
Peace Corps .
On December 2, 1954,
Prescott Bush was part of the large (67–22)
majority to censure
Wisconsin Republican Senator
Joseph McCarthy after
McCarthy had taken on the U.S. Army and the Eisenhower administration
. During the debate leading to the censure, Bush said that McCarthy
has "caused dangerous divisions among the American people because of
his attitude and the attitude he has encouraged among his followers:
that there can be no honest differences of opinion with him. Either
you must follow Senator McCarthy blindly, not daring to express any
doubts or disagreements about any of his actions, or, in his eyes, you
must be a Communist, a Communist sympathizer, or a fool who has been
duped by the Communist line." Eisenhower later included Prescott Bush
on an undated handwritten list of prospective candidates he favored
for the 1960 Republican presidential nomination.
In terms of issues, Bush often agreed with New York Governor Nelson
Rockefeller . According to Theodore H. White's book about the 1964
presidential election, Bush and Rockefeller were longtime friends.
Bush favored a Nixon-Rockefeller ticket for 1960, and was presumed to
support Rockefeller's 1964 presidential candidacy until the latter's
remarriage in 1963. He then publicly denounced Rockefeller for
divorcing his first wife and marrying a woman with whom Rockefeller
had been having an affair while married to his first wife. Bush then
very publicly endorsed his former Senate colleague Henry Cabot Lodge
Jr. , who was also the older brother of one of Bush's proteges',
John Davis Lodge
John Davis Lodge .
Another of Senator Bush's major legislative interests was flood and
hurricane protection. He drafted Public Law 71, the Bush Hurricane
Survey Act, enabling U.S. Army engineers to develop a new program of
community protection against tidal flooding.
The grave of
Prescott Bush married Dorothy Walker (1 July 1901 - 19 November 1992)
on August 6, 1921, in
Kennebunkport, Maine . They had five children:
Prescott Jr. (August 10, 1922 – June 23, 2010), George (b. 1924,
named after Dorothy's father
George Herbert Walker ), Nancy (b. 1926),
Jonathan (b. 1931) and William "Bucky" (b. 1938).
Bush founded the
Yale Glee Club Associates, an alumni group, in 1937.
As was his father-in-law, he was a member of the United States Golf
Association , serving successively as secretary, vice-president and
president, 1928–1935. He was a multi-year club champion of the Round
Hill Club in Greenwich,
Connecticut , and was on the committee set up
New York City
New York City Mayor
Robert F. Wagner Jr. to help create the New
York Mets .
He was a member of the
American Legion and the 40 the family compound
Kennebunkport, Maine ; the 10,000-acre (40 km ²) Duncannon
Barnwell, South Carolina ; and a secluded island off
Fishers Island . The headstone of Prescott
He died in 1972 at age 77 and was interred at
Putnam Cemetery in
Bush's articles include:
* "Timely Monetary Policy," Banking, June 1955 and July 1955
* "To Preserve Peace Let's Show the Russians How Strong We Are!"
Reader\'s Digest , July 1959
* "Politics Is Your Business," Chamber of Commerce, State of New
York, Bulletin, May 1960
* ^ Chapman, Roger Culture Wars: an Encyclopedia of Issues,
Viewpoints and Voices Volume 1 M.E. Sharpe Inc. Armonk, New York 2010
* ^ "Geronimo\'s kin sue Skull and Bones".
MSNBC . February 18,
2009. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
* ^ Lassila, Kathrin Day; Branch, Mark Alden (May–June 2006).
"Whose Skull and Bones?". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved January 10,
* ^ Cheerleading of the ’20s: Epitome of masculinity Archived
October 21, 2016, at the
Wayback Machine .. Yale Daily News (January
28, 2008). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
* ^ "
Prescott Bush Named Head Of U.S.G.A.". The Washington Post.
Associated Press. November 9, 1934.
* ^ A B C Aris, Ben; Campbell, Duncan (September 25, 2004). "How
Bush\'s grandfather helped Hitler\'s rise to power". The Guardian.
London. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
* ^ A B Parmet, Herbert. "What Should We Make of the Charge Linking
the Bush Family Fortune to Nazism?".
History News Network . Retrieved
June 5, 2011.
* ^ "Hitler's Angel Has $3m in US Bank".
Washington Post . July 31,
1941. p. 1.
* ^ Conason, Joe (October 26, 2003). "Bush \'Nazi\' Smear Unworthy
The New York Observer
The New York Observer . New York. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
* ^ "Fair Enough" by Westbrook Pegler, Burlington Daily News-Times
(North Carolina), August 22, 1950
* ^ "A Bush at Both Ends: Before and After the Interstate Era".
Federal Highway Administration
Federal Highway Administration . January 18, 2005. Retrieved
August 6, 2006.
* ^ A B C Stephen Mansfield (2004). The Faith of George W. Bush.
* ^ "National Affairs: Splendid Job". Time. December 13, 1954.
* ^ McQuaid, John; Schleifstein, Mark (2006). Path of Destruction:
The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms.
Little, Brown and Company: Hachette
Book Group USA. p. 54. ISBN
* ^ Freudenburg, William R.; Gramling, Robert; Laska, Shirley;
Erikson, Kai (2009). Catastrophe in the Making: The Engineering of
Katrina and the Disasters of Tomorrow. Washington, DC: Island Press.
p. 26. ISBN 978-1-59726-682-6 .
* ^ Shapiro, T. Rees (June 26, 2010). "Prescott S. Bush Jr.,
brother and uncle of U.S. presidents, dies at 87". The Washington
Post. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
Prescott Bush Papers are at the University of Connecticut,
* The Greenwich Library Oral History Project has interviews with
Prescott Bush Jr. and Mary Walker.
* There is material by and about Bush in the History of the Class of
Yale College (1919) and the supplementary class albums.
* John Atlee Kouwenhoven, Partners in Banking: An Historical
Portrait of a Great Private Bank,
Brown Brothers Harriman (1968).
* Obituaries are in the Washington Post, October 9, 1972; the New
York Times, October 9, 1972; the Hartford Courant, October 9, 1972;
and Yale Alumni Magazine, December 1972.
* "Prescott Sheldon Bush. "Dictionary of American Biography,
Supplement 9: 1971–1975. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1994.
* Darwin Payne, Initiative in Energy: Dresser Industries, Inc.,
1880–1978. New York: Simon and Schuster (1979).