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In Memorium

George Herbert
Walker Bush

1924 – 2018

It is with profound sadness that Americares mourns the passing of George H.W. Bush—our 41st president and one of our earliest supporters.

George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush were instrumental in the founding of our organization. A childhood friend and classmate of Americares founder Bob Macauley at Greenwich Country Day School, Philips Academy Andover and Yale University, Mr. Bush was one of Americares first champions. He graciously lent his stature to promote Macauley’s humanitarian endeavors and co-chaired fundraisers for Americares over the years including our 25th anniversary celebration in New York City.

Macauley credited his former schoolmate and lifelong friend for helping him start what is now the world’s leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine and medical supplies. Macauley, who died in 2010, said it all began with, “no staff, no headquarters, very scant financial resources, and only one credential: Vice President Bush’s one-line note: ‘Go for it, Bob.’”

Leila Macauley, Americares co-founder and permanent vice chairman, said her husband and his friend shared a lifetime commitment to service.

We have lost a great friend and a member of the Americares family.

Leila Macauley, Co-founder and Vice Chairman, Americares Foundation

“President and Mrs. Bush traveled with us on airlifts delivering medicine and relief supplies to crisis zones all over the world, and chaired numerous fundraisers inspiring others to support our mission,” Leila Macauley said. “He believed we could all be points of light and was the most commendable example. We have lost a great friend and a member of the Americares family.”

Several generations of the Bush family became involved over the years. Mrs. Bush served as Americares longtime ambassador-at-large and traveled with Americares to Ethiopia, Croatia and Guatemala. Their children and grandchildren also joined airlifts.

In October 2017, Americares honored President George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush with the inaugural Bob and Leila Macauley Humanitarian Spirit Award for their extraordinary courage and lifelong commitment to humanitarian work. 

“President Bush played a pivotal role in Americares history and made a tremendous contribution to improving health care for people in need all over the world,” said Americares President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis. “He was a galvanizing force in the early years and will be deeply missed.”

The Bushes, with Americares Founder Bob Macauley
George and Barbara during a Guatemala trip in 1994.
Airlift to Croatia in 1993. Photo by Phil Farnsworth.