Prescott Bush

Last updated

Prescott Bush
PrescottBush.jpg
United States Senator
from Connecticut
In office
November 4, 1952 January 3, 1963
Preceded by William A. Purtell
Succeeded by Abraham Ribicoff
Personal details
Born
Prescott Sheldon Bush

(1895-05-15)May 15, 1895
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
DiedOctober 8, 1972(1972-10-08) (aged 77)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Dorothy Walker(m. 1921)
ChildrenPrescott Jr., George, Nancy, Jonathan, Bucky
Parents Samuel P. Bush
Flora Sheldon
Relatives Bush family
Education Yale University (BA)
Signature Peescott Bush Signature.svg
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States
Branch/serviceFlag of the United States Army (official proportions).svg  United States Army
Years of service1917–1919
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Unit158th Field Artillery Brigade
Battles/wars World War I

Prescott Sheldon Bush (May 15, 1895 – October 8, 1972) was an American banker and politician. [1] After working as a Wall Street executive investment banker, he represented Connecticut in the United States Senate from 1952 to 1963.A member of the Bush family, he was the father of President George H. W. Bush , who was also the Vice President prior to his presidency, and the paternal grandfather of President George W. Bush and Governor Jeb Bush.

Wall Street street in Manhattan

Wall Street is an eight-block-long street running roughly northwest to southeast from Broadway to South Street, at the East River, in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial services industry, or New York–based financial interests.

Connecticut state of the United States of America

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index (0.962), and median household income in the United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport. It is part of New England, although portions of it are often grouped with New York and New Jersey as the Tri-state area. The state is named for the Connecticut River which approximately bisects the state. The word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river".

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

Contents

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Bush graduated from Yale College and served as an artillery officer during World War I. After the war, he worked for several companies, becoming a minor partner of the A. Harriman & Co. investment bank in 1931. He served in several high-ranking United States Golf Association offices, including president of that organization. Bush settled in Connecticut in 1925.

Columbus, Ohio Capital of Ohio

Columbus is the state capital of and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio. With a population of 879,170 as of 2017 estimates, it is the 14th-most populous city in the United States and one of the fastest growing large cities in the nation. This makes Columbus the third-most populous state capital in the US and the second-most populous city in the Midwest. It is the core city of the Columbus, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses ten counties. With a population of 2,078,725, it is Ohio's second-largest metropolitan area.

Yale College undergraduate liberal arts college of Yale University

Yale College is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Yale University. Founded in 1701, it is the original school of the university. Although other schools of the university were founded as early as 1810, all of Yale was officially known as Yale College until 1887, when its schools were confederated and the institution was renamed Yale University.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Bush won election to the Senate in a 1952 special election, narrowly defeating Democratic nominee Abraham Ribicoff. In the Senate, Bush staunchly supported President Dwight D. Eisenhower and helped enact legislation to create the Interstate Highway System. Bush won re-election in 1956 but declined to seek re-election in 1962, retiring from the Senate the following year.

Abraham Ribicoff American politician

Abraham Alexander Ribicoff was an American Democratic Party politician. He served in the United States Congress, as the 80th Governor of Connecticut and as President John F. Kennedy's Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. He was Connecticut's first and to date only Jewish governor.

Dwight D. Eisenhower 34th president of the United States

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front.

Interstate Highway System United States highway system

The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highways that forms part of the National Highway System in the United States. Construction of the system was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. The system extends throughout the contiguous United States and has routes in Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.

Early life

Bush was born in Columbus, Ohio, [2] 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, also a federal government official in charge of coordination of and assistance to major weapons contractors.

Samuel P. Bush American businessman

Samuel Prescott Bush was an American businessman and industrialist. He was the patriarch of the Bush political family. He was the father of U.S. Senator Prescott Bush, grandfather of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, and great-grandfather of former U.S. President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Bush attended St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island, from 1908–1913. In 1913, he enrolled at Yale College, where his paternal grandfather, Rev. 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 was also a member of the society, as is his son, George W. Bush.

St. Georges School, Newport

St. George's School is a private, Episcopal, coeducational boarding school in Middletown, Rhode Island, United States, just north of the city of Newport, on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The school was founded in 1896 by the Rev. John Byron Diman. It is a member of the Independent School League and is one of five schools collectively termed St. Grottlesex.

Middletown, Rhode Island Town in Rhode Island, United States

Middletown is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 16,150 at the 2010 census. It lies to the south of Portsmouth and to the north of Newport on Aquidneck Island, hence the name "Middletown".

Rev. James Smith Bush was an American attorney, Episcopal priest, religious writer, and an ancestor of the Bush political family. He was the father of business magnate Samuel Prescott Bush, grandfather of former U.S. Senator Prescott Bush, great-grandfather of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and great-great-grandfather of former U.S. President George W. Bush and Governor Jeb Bush.

According to Skull and Bones lore, Prescott Bush was among a group of Bonesmen who dug up and removed the skull of Geronimo from his grave at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1918. [3] According to historian David L. Miller, the Bonesmen probably dug up somebody at Fort Sill, but not Geronimo. [4]

Geronimo leader of the Bedonkohe Apache

Geronimo was a prominent leader and medicine man from the Bedonkohe band of the Apache tribe. From 1850 to 1886 Geronimo joined with members of three other Chiricahua Apache bands—the Tchihende, the Tsokanende and the Nednhi—to carry out numerous raids as well as resistance to US and Mexican military campaigns in the northern Mexico states of Chihuahua and Sonora, and in the southwestern American territories of New Mexico and Arizona. Geronimo's raids and related combat actions were a part of the prolonged period of the Apache–United States conflict, which started with American settlement in Apache lands following the end of the war with Mexico in 1848.

Prescott Bush was a cheerleader, [5] 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 (1917–1919) during 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 offensive.

Business career

After his discharge in 1919, Prescott Bush went to work for the Simmons Hardware Company in St. Louis, Missouri.

The 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, Connecticut.

In 1931, he became a partner of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., which was created through the 1931 amalgamation of A. Harriman & Co with Brown Bros. & Co., (a merchant bank founded in Philadelphia in 1818) and with Harriman Brothers & Co. (established in New York City in 1927).

He was an avid golfer, and in 1935 was named head of the USGA. [6]

From 1944–1956, Prescott Bush was a member of the Yale Corporation, the principal governing body of Yale University. He was on the board of directors of CBS, having been introduced to chairman William S. Paley around 1932 by his close friend and colleague W. Averell Harriman, who became a major Democratic Party power broker.

Union Banking Corporation

Bush was a founding member and one of seven directors (including W. Averell Harriman) of the Union Banking Corporation (holding a single share out of 4,000 as a director), an investment bank that operated as a clearing house for many assets and enterprises held by German steel magnate Fritz Thyssen. [7] [8] In July 1942, the bank was suspected of holding gold on behalf of Nazi leaders. [9] A subsequent government investigation disproved those allegations but confirmed the Thyssens' control, and in October 1942 the United States seized the bank under the Trading with the Enemy Act and held the assets for the duration of World War II. [7] Journalist Duncan Campbell pointed out documents showing that Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder of a number of companies involved with Thyssen. [7]

It is unclear whether Bush was aware of Thyssen's Nazi connections or approved of them, and some historians even dispute Thyssen's allegiance to the Nazi party. [10] Historian Herbert Parmet agrees with the assessment that Bush was not a Nazi sympathizer. [8]

Political life

Prescott Bush was politically active on social issues. He was involved with the American Birth Control League as early as 1942, and served as the treasurer of the first nationwide campaign of Planned Parenthood in 1947. He was also an early supporter of the United Negro College Fund, serving as chairman of the Connecticut branch in 1951.

From 1947–1950, he served as Connecticut Republican finance chairman, and was the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in 1950. A columnist in Boston said that Bush "is coming on to be known as President Truman's Harry Hopkins. Nobody knows Mr. Bush and he hasn't a Chinaman's chance." [11] (Harry Hopkins had been one of Franklin D. Roosevelt's closest advisors.) Bush's ties with Planned Parenthood also hurt him in strongly-Catholic Connecticut, and were the basis of a last-minute campaign in churches by Bush's opponents; the family vigorously denied the connection, but Bush lost to Sen. William Burnett Benton by only 1,000 votes.

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. [12] He defeated the Democratic nominee, Abraham Ribicoff, and was elected to the Senate. A staunch supporter of President 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, [13] 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. [14]

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." [15] 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. [14] 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', former Connecticut Governor John Davis Lodge. [14]

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. [16] [17]

Personal life

The grave of Prescott Bush Prescott Bush Grave.jpg
The grave of Prescott Bush
The headstone
of Prescott Bush Prescott Bush Headstone.jpg
The headstone
of Prescott Bush

Prescott Bush married Dorothy Wear Walker (1901-1992) on August 6, 1921, in Kennebunkport, Maine. They had five children: Prescott Jr.(1922–2010), [18] George (1924–2018), Nancy (b. 1926), Jonathan (b. 1931), and William "Bucky" (1938–2018). [19]

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 by 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 & 8 Society.

Bush maintained homes in New York, Long Island and Greenwich, Connecticut; the family compound at Kennebunkport, Maine; and a secluded island off the Connecticut coast, Fishers Island.

He died of cancer in 1972 at age 77 at Memorial Hospital in New York City, [1] and was interred at Putnam Cemetery in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Writings

Bush's articles include:

Related Research Articles

1956 United States presidential election elections

The 1956 United States presidential election was the 43rd quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 6, 1956. The popular incumbent President, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, successfully ran for re-election. The election was a re-match of 1952, as Eisenhower's opponent in 1956 was Adlai Stevenson, a former Illinois governor whom Eisenhower had defeated four years earlier.

Skull and Bones Undergraduate senior secret society at Yale University

Skull and Bones is an undergraduate senior secret student society at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The oldest senior class society at the university, Skull and Bones has become a cultural institution known for its powerful alumni and various conspiracy theories. The society's alumni organization, the Russell Trust Association, owns the organization's real estate and oversees the membership. The society is known informally as "Bones", and members are known as "Bonesmen".

Rockefeller Republican Political ideology within the American Republican Party

The Rockefeller Republicans, also called Moderate, Liberal, or Progressive Republicans, were members of the Republican Party (GOP) in the 1930s–1970s who held moderate to liberal views on domestic issues, similar to those of Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of New York (1959–1973) and Vice President of the United States (1974–1977). Rockefeller Republicans were most common in the Northeast and the West Coast with their larger liberal constituencies while they were rare in the South and Midwest. They often saw themselves as champions of "good government", contrasting themselves to the often corrupt machine politics of the Democratic Party, particularly in large cities.

Bush family American family prominent in the fields of politics, sports, entertainment, and business

The Bush family is an American family that is prominent in the fields of politics, sports, entertainment, and business, founded by Obadiah Bush and Harriet Smith.

E. Roland Harriman American businessman

Edward Roland Noel "Bunny" Harriman was an American financier and philanthropist.

Lowell Weicker American politician

Lowell Palmer Weicker Jr. is an American politician who served as a U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the 85th Governor of Connecticut. He unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for President in 1980. Though a member of the Republican Party during his time in Congress, he later left the Republican Party and became one of the few third party candidates to be elected to a state governorship in the United States in recent years, doing so on the ticket of A Connecticut Party. As of 2019, Weicker is the last person to have represented Connecticut in the U.S. Senate as a Republican.

Russell Trust Association

The Russell Trust Association is the business name for the New Haven, Connecticut based Skull and Bones society, incorporated in 1856.

James L. Buckley American judge

James Lane Buckley is an American jurist, politician, civil servant, attorney, businessman, and author.

William Benton (politician) American politician

William Burnett Benton was an American senator from Connecticut (1949–1953) and publisher of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1943–1973).

Percy Avery Rockefeller American director

Percy Avery Rockefeller was a board director who founded and was vice president of Owenoke Corporation.

Jonathan James Bush is an American banker.

1952 United States Senate elections

The 1952 United States Senate elections was an election for the United States Senate which coincided with the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower to the presidency by a large margin. The Republicans took control of the senate by managing to make a net gain of two seats, which was reduced to one when Wayne Morse (R-OR) became an independent. The Republicans still held a majority after Morse's switch. This election was the second time in history that the party in power lost their majority and the Senate Majority Leader lost his own re-election bid.

William A. Purtell American politician

William Arthur Purtell was an American businessman and politician. A member of the Republican Party, he represented Connecticut in the United States Senate in 1952 and from 1953 to 1959.

Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (BBH) is the oldest and one of the largest private banks in the United States. In 1931, the merger of Brown Brothers & Co. and Harriman Brothers & Co. formed the current BBH. Assets Under Custody $5.6 trillion (2017).

William Henry Trotter "Bucky" Bush, CStJ was an American businessman. He was the youngest son of US Senator Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush, the youngest brother of former President George H. W. Bush, and an uncle of former President George W. Bush and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

There are two types of Council on Foreign Relations membership: life, and term membership, which lasts for five years and is available to those between the ages of 30 and 36 at the time of their application. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have applied for U.S. citizenship are eligible. A candidate for life membership must be nominated in writing by one Council member and seconded by a minimum of three others.

The Bush-Davis-Walker family is a political family from the United States that includes former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. The family's political involvement spans period from 18th to the 21st centuries.

Electoral history of Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States (1969–1974), 36th Vice President of the United States (1953–1961); United States Senator (1950–1953) and United States Representative (1947–1950) from California.

References

  1. 1 2 "Prescott Bush dies; former U.S. Senator". The Day. (New London, Connecticut). Associated Press. October 9, 1972. p. 27.
  2. Chapman, Roger. Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints and Voices Volume 1 M.E. Sharpe Inc. Armonk, New York, 2010, page 61
  3. "Geronimo's kin sue Skull and Bones". MSNBC. February 18, 2009. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  4. Lassila, Kathrin Day; Branch, Mark Alden (May – June 2006). "Whose Skull and Bones?". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  5. Cheerleading of the ’20s: Epitome of masculinity Archived October 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine . Yale Daily News (January 28, 2008). Retrieved on July 15, 2013.
  6. "Prescott Bush Named Head Of U.S.G.A.". The Washington Post. Associated Press. November 9, 1934.
  7. 1 2 3 Aris, Ben; Campbell, Duncan (September 25, 2004). "How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  8. 1 2 Parmet, Herbert. "What Should We Make of the Charge Linking the Bush Family Fortune to Nazism?". History News Network . Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  9. "Hitler's Angel Has $3m in US Bank". Washington Post . July 31, 1941. p. 1.
  10. Conason, Joe (October 26, 2003). "Bush 'Nazi' Smear Unworthy of Critics". The New York Observer . New York. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  11. "Fair Enough" by Westbrook Pegler, Burlington Daily News-Times (North Carolina), August 22, 1950
  12. "Republicans nominate Bush after Lodge rejects draft". The Day. (New London, Connecticut). Associated Press. September 5, 1952. p. 1.
  13. "A Bush at Both Ends: Before and After the Interstate Era". U.S. Federal Highway Administration. January 18, 2005. Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  14. 1 2 3 Stephen Mansfield (2004). The Faith of George W. Bush. Tarcher. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007.
  15. "National Affairs: Splendid Job". Time. December 13, 1954.
  16. 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   978-0-316-01642-1.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. "William H.T. "Bucky" Bush was brother, uncle of presidents". Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.

Further reading

Party political offices
Preceded by
Raymond E. Baldwin
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Connecticut
(Class 1)

1950
Succeeded by
William A. Purtell
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
William A. Purtell
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Connecticut
1952–1963
Served alongside: William Benton, William A. Purtell, Thomas J. Dodd
Succeeded by
Abraham A. Ribicoff