AUSTIN, Texas — In honor of the life and legacy of President George H.W. Bush, the Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin is displaying images from the David Valdez photographic archive. Valdez served as President Bush’s official White House photographer. The exhibit is on display at the center’s Research and Collections division on the east side of the UT campus.
“President Bush led an incredibly rich life — a World War II veteran, a successful businessman, a U.S. congressman and ambassador, the 43rd vice president, and then the 41st president of the United States,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “David Valdez’s photographs are truly valuable historical sources for understanding Bush’s political career, but they also clearly show the former president’s humor, energy and dedication. Finally, they speak to the warmth he enjoyed with his family members.”
Born in Milton, Massachusetts, in 1924, Bush enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday. During World War II, he flew more than 50 combat missions, including one where he was shot down in the Pacific Ocean and rescued by a U.S. submarine. For bravery, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, he married Barbara Pierce and studied economics at Yale University before embarking on an oil industry career in Texas.