Family spokesman remembers George H.W. Bush's legacy

"It's only been a privilege. It's only been an honor," Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath says.

Humble thoughts, from a man who has spent a career representing a humble man.

Jim McGrath worked in George H.W. Bush's White House, as a college intern, and never left the president's side.

"I got my foot in the door at the White House and kind of got lucky from there. But in my own defense I don’t think I dropped the ball at any time it got pushed my way," McGrath says.

For more than a quarter century, McGrath has born witness to history, through the lens of one of the nation's most powerful and philanthropic men.

His book "Heartbeat" chronicles the notable words of President Bush. Along the way, learning lessons of how best to wield power, and honorably serve the world around him.

One of President Bush's most enduring calls for "duty, sacrifice, and commitment" to community was his "Thousand Points of Light", occasionally mocked, but now revered.

McGrath says President Bush helped the country reconnect with the idea that service is a vital fundamental part of being an American.

"When he finally came upon this "Points of Light" concept it wasn’t something that a consultant dreamed up and handed him a paper on it and said 'OK let’s try this'. He had already lived it. I mean he believed in this passionately," McGrath says.

The words "service" and "honor" figure prominently in any discussion about President Bush. When asked to likely derail his political career to lead the CIA at the request of President Ford, Bush answered the call. When a troubled economy needed a boost, he decided it was more important to break his famous pledge to not raise taxes. When natural disasters needed a champion, the Indian Ocean tsunami, an earthquake in Pakistan, the destruction of Hurricane Harvey, he found a way to lend his voice and effort to marshal help.

Along the way, Jim McGrath has been there to help shape the message, though he recoils at the thought of putting words into the mouth of President Bush.

"He put words in my pen, so to speak. You could write things for George Bush you just simply couldn't write for somebody who was less accomplished or less honorable," McGrath says.

Now that the president's voice has been silenced, McGrath says his life's work, in the service of a great man, will go on.

"I'll spend the rest of my days trying to help keep telling his story, because it needs to be told," McGrath says.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

More from FOX 26 Houston