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George H.W. Bush’s simple but profound life advice in 23 words



George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush arrives for the coin toss prior to Super Bowl 51
between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG
Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

Bello/Getty Images

  • Former President George H.W. Bush died at the age of 94 on
  • Bush lived by a simple, 23-word code he once outlined in a
    letter to his mother. 

Former President George H.W. Bush, who died at the age of 94 on
Friday, is being remembered this week as a lifelong public
servant and dedicated family man with an endearing sense of

Bush — a decorated war hero who served his country in an array of
capacities before rising to the highest office in the land in
1988 — lived by a simple, 23-word code he once outlined in a
letter to his mother: “Tell the truth. Don’t blame people.
Be strong. Do your Best. Try hard. Forgive. Stay the course. All
that kind of thing.”

The late president began his career in public service with
great zeal, enlisting in the US Navy on his 18th birthday in 1942
in the midst of World War II.

Read more:
Watch George H.W. Bush being rescued by the US Navy after his
plane was shot down by Japanese forces in WWII

He went on to become one of the Navy’s youngest pilots and
flew dozens of combat missions. At one point, he was shot down
near the Japanese island of Chichi Jima, floating on a raft for
hours before being rescued by a US submarine. 

Bush’s time in the military
played a major role in shaping his worldview
, and he carried
himself with the quiet confidence often attributed to those who
joined him in the fight against fascism and imperialism in Europe
and the Pacific. He was a member of what was dubbed the Greatest
Generation, and is the last president to have served in the

Like all presidents, Bush has his fans and critics, but he’s
widely admired for his unwavering dedication to country and his
willingness to take on virtually any challenge — including those
that almost got him killed. 

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