CIA Honors Former Director George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush, who died last Friday, held among his most cherished roles in U.S. Government, the role of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Bush served as Director for just one year, from January 1976 to January 1977.  He came into the Agency during a time of internal crisis, when the CIA stood accused of spying on U.S. anti-war groups, a violation of its charter.  He made quite an impression on a workforce not easily won over by politicians.  His one-year tenure in the role saw a significant increase of the morale of the workforce, so much so that 22 years after he left, the CIA named its Langley Headquarters after him.

Below are statements from the current CIA Director as well as a joint statement by a number of former Directors, Acting Directors and Deputy Directors of the spy agency.

Statement by Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Gina C. Haspel

“We’ve lost a great champion of the Agency—an accomplished Director, faithful advocate, and dear friend—with the passing of former President George H.W. Bush.  As a heroic Navy pilot in the Second World War, a skilled statesman who deftly managed the collapse of the Soviet Union and liberated Kuwait from Saddam Husayn’s aggression, and a committed citizen who remained engaged in public service throughout his later years, President Bush exemplified the virtues of patriotism, duty, and compassion.  Officers here at the George Bush Center for Intelligence and deployed around the globe honor the memory of a great American.  On behalf of the men and women of CIA, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the Bush family.”

Statement by former Directors, Acting Directors and Deputy Directors of the CIA

“We join all Americans and, indeed, people around the world in mourning the passing of President George H.W. Bush.  He lived a life of incredible service to his country – as a naval aviator, member of Congress, UN Ambassador, envoy to China, Vice President and President.  But we wish to take special note of his service as Director of Central Intelligence.  He approached that position, as he did everything in his life, as a duty and an honor to serve.  Assuming the role when the CIA was experiencing great turmoil, he quickly strengthened morale among the Agency workforce and confidence in the CIA throughout government. Although his tenure as DCI was short, the impact he left on the Agency is indelible. The 1999 naming of the CIA headquarters compound the “George Bush Center for Intelligence” was a fitting gesture to honor a man who embodied all that is best in public service.  His leadership was the North Star that we all tried to emulate during our time at the Agency. On behalf of the men and women of the Intelligence Community who we led, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the Bush family.”

  • John O. Brennan
  • Albert M. Calland
  • David S. Cohen
  • John M. Deutch
  • Robert M. Gates
  • Porter J. Goss
  • Avril D. Haines
  • Michael V. Hayden
  • Bobby R. Inman
  • Stephen R. Kappes
  • Richard J, Kerr
  • John E. McLaughlin
  • Michael J. Morell
  • Leon E. Panetta
  • David H. Petraeus
  • George J. Tenet
  • William H. Webster
  • James Woolsey

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One Reply to “CIA Honors Former Director George H.W. Bush”
  1. The void that this great yet humble man leaves behind…a man of so many strengths and virtues…won’t soon be filled.