She Was a Rarity in the Bush Family

Nancy Bush Ellis, who backed liberal causes, dies at 94 from COVID
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2021 11:00 AM CST
She Was a Rarity in the Bush Family
A screen shot of Nancy Ellis Bush from an interview on YouTube.   (YouTube)

An elder member of the Bush political clan has died from COVID. Nancy Bush Ellis, sister of George HW Bush and aunt of George W. Bush, died Sunday at age 94 of complications of the virus, reports She had been hospitalized in Massachusetts on Dec. 30 with a fever before testing positive. The New York Times reports that Bush Ellis was an unusual figure in the Bush family: She was for years a liberal Democrat who worked with the NAACP and backed environmental and anti-poverty causes. And she once said, "I was out in what George calls 'deep left.'"

However, she was fiercely loyal to her brother, campaigning for him and, later, his son. "She was a Democrat for whom family came first," historian Jon Meacham tells the Times. In a separate tweet, Meacham adds, "Whenever a question about family history was raised, Bush 41 would say, 'Unleash Nan!'" And Pierce Bush, grandson of George HW, writes, "She was an amazing woman, cut from a rare cloth. ... Smart, classy and witty—she cared deeply about family and was loved by all." (Read more obituary stories.)

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