PRESCOTT BUSH Biography - Polititians


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Name: Prescott Sheldon Bush                                                             
Born: 15 May 1895 Columbus, Ohio                                                       
Died: 8 October 1972 New York City                                                     
Prescott Sheldon Bush (May 15, 1895 – October 8, 1972) was a United States           
Senator from Connecticut and a Wall Street executive banker with Brown Brothers         
Harriman. He was the father of former President of the United States George H. W.       
Bush and the grandfather of current President George W. Bush.                           
Bush was born in Columbus, Ohio to Flora Sheldon and Samuel Prescott Bush.             
Samuel Bush was a railroad executive, then a steel company president, and during       
World War I, also a federal government official in charge of coordination and           
assistance to major weapons contractors.                                               
Bush attended the Douglas School in Columbus and then St. George's School in           
Newport, Rhode Island from 1908 to 1913. In 1913, he enrolled at Yale University,       
continuing a family legacy; four subsequent generations of Bushes have been Yale       
alumni. Prescott Bush was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity while at Yale and         
Skull and Bones secret society.                                                         
Prescott Bush played varsity golf, football, 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, Bush came under fire         
in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. In what became a controversy, Bush wrote home           
about receiving medals for heroic exploits, and his letters were later published       
in Columbus newspapers. However, Bush retracted statements made in his letters a       
few weeks later when it was revealed that he, in fact, had not received such           
medals. The retraction was made in a cable in which Bush stated that his earlier       
letter had been written "in a spirit of fun" and was not intended for                   
After his discharge in 1919, Prescott Bush went to work for the Simmons Hardware       
Company in St. Louis, Missouri.                                                         
The Bushes moved to Columbus, Ohio, in 1923, where Prescott Bush went to work           
for the Hupp Products Company, where his business efforts generally failed. He         
left in November 1923 to become president of sales for Stedman Products in South       
Braintree, Massachusetts. It was during this time that he lived in a Victorian         
home at 173 Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts, where his son, George H.W.           
Bush, was born.                                                                         
In 1924, Bush was made a vice-president of Harriman & Co. by his father-in-law,         
George Herbert Walker. Also employed by the company were E. Roland Harriman and         
Knight Woolley, Bush's Yale classmates and fellow Bonesmen.                             
In 1925, Bush joined the United States Rubber Company of New York City as               
manager of the foreign division, and moved to Greenwich, Connecticut.                   
In 1931, Bush became a founding partner of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. that           
was created through the 1931 merger of Brown Brothers & Co., a merchant bank           
founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1818 with Harriman Brothers & Co.,             
established in New York City in 1927, and A. Harriman & Co.                             
From 1944 to 1956, Bush was a member of the Yale Corporation, the principal             
governing body of Yale University. Bush was on the board of directors of CBS,           
having been introduced to chairman William S. Paley around 1932 by his close           
friend and colleague William Averell Harriman, who became a major Democratic           
Party power-broker.                                                                     
Bush was a typical New England Republican of his time; as a former banker, he           
was a pro-business conservative, but held many positions today considered               
socially moderate. He was involved with the American Birth Control League as           
early as 1942, and served as the treasurer of the first national capital               
campaign of Planned Parenthood in 1947. Bush was also an early supporter of the         
United Negro College Fund, serving as chairman of the Connecticut branch in 1951.       
From 1947 to 1950, he served as Connecticut Republican finance chairman, and was       
the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in 1950. One of his               
opponents at the time, a Republican woman named Vivien Kellems, said that Bush's       
nomination was an inside job of political sabotage in favor of William Benton,         
the Democratic nominee. 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." Bush's ties with Planned Parenthood also hurt him in               
heavily 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 Benton by only 1,000 votes.                                               
In 1952, he was elected to the Senate, defeating Abraham Ribicoff for the seat         
vacated by the death of James O'Brien McMahon. A staunch supporter of President         
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bush served until January 1963. He was reelected in 1956         
with 55 percent of the vote over Democrat Thomas J. Dodd (later U.S. Senator           
from Connecticut and father of the current U.S. Senator from Connecticut,               
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 (ships which were             
built by Electric Boat Corporation in Groton, Connecticut), civil rights               
legislation, and the establishment of the Peace Corps.                                 
On December 2, 1954, Bush was part of the large (67-22) majority to censure             
Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy, after McCarthy had taken on the US       
Army and the Eisenhower administration.                                                 
In an undated handwritten list by Eisenhower, Bush was included as one of the           
ten best prospective candidates for the 1960 GOP presidential nomination.               
Bush's moderate politics became more complicated in time. In terms of issues he         
often agreed with New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, but personally disliked         
and politically opposed him, despite the close relationship his father had with         
the Rockefeller family. During the 1964 election, Bush denounced Rockefeller for       
divorcing his first wife and marrying a woman about 20 years his junior with           
whom he had been having an affair while married to his first wife.                     
Bush was also in staunch opposition to the Kennedy family, and especially               
President John F. Kennedy's maternal grandfather John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald.