Video: George H.W. Bush makes 90th birthday parachute jump

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) _ Former President George H.W. Bush can no longer use his legs, but he isn’t letting that keep him from jumping from an aircraft on his 90th birthday.

On Thursday, he did a Tandem jump to his home in Maine.

Bush announced via Twitter on Thursday that he intends to make a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. It was a vow he made five years ago when he marked his 85th birthday by skydiving.

The announcement was kept secret until the last minute, partly to give Bush the option of bagging it. Thursday’s forecast called for clouds and scattered showers in southern Maine.

Spokesman Jim McGrath says the 41st president likes both a surprise and an adrenaline rush. He said the president hopes to show that seniors can remain active, even though he now uses a wheelchair.

A guest list for a private dinner in his honor Thursday evening includes more than 200 relatives and friends, a family spokesman said.

Many of the guests are from his days in the White House, including former press secretary Marlin Fitzwater, White House counsel Boyden Gray and political director Ron Kaufman, spokesman Jim McGrath said. His children, including former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will be there, McGrath said.

During his presidential years, Bush was known for jogging, tennis and fast-paced golf but now uses a wheelchair because of a form of parknsonism that has robbed him of use of his legs.

“He’s lost his mobility, but he hasn’t lost his heart. He’s still the genuine person that we’ve come to cherish,” said Ken Raynor, a friend and pro at the Cape Arundel Golf Club.

The 41st president lives in Houston but has spent every summer at the three-story, stone-and-shingle home in Maine except when he was a naval aviator during World War II.

During the war, he bailed out of his airplane over the Pacific. Later, he decided to jump from a plane of his own accord and marked his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays by skydiving.

While his activities are now limited, Bush still enjoys taking out his boat, Fidelity.

“He’s always loved going fast. He loves the speed. He loves the adrenaline,” McGrath said.

Jon Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian who is writing a book about Bush, said the former president is used to being in motion, so it isn’t easy for him to slow down.

The president feels lucky nonetheless, Meacham said.

“He had a remarkable great run of good health and good family and good friends,” he said. “So I know his chief view of life at 90 is one of immense gratitude. He’s very grateful for his parents, he’s grateful for Barbara, he’s grateful for his kids. He knows he’s one of the luckiest guys who ever lived, really.”

5 comments

  • Lazy Liberal Leeches

    Good For George! God Bless You Mr. President and Happy Birthday! How we miss you dearly! I mean, in a bad way too with this clown in office. Anyway, Happy 90th to you Sir!

  • Lazy Liberal Leeches

    ByeBye or aka Dumb Dumb: Liberal Obama isn’t rich and Repubs are!? Check the facts. All your liberals you voted in are ?Very RICH! The rich keep passing laws after law to make us hard working guys more poor. Higher taxes, more laws, more debt. Your ideology and ideals are very unsound. You libs sure know how to muck it all up. Notice you didn’t mention your precious Obummer doing the economy any good? He just knows how to steal from us taxpayers and let leechers leech. Oh and btw, reason your Billy Boy in 92 after that had a semi-ok growth rate by 94 was because Congress was Republican keeping liberal laws at bay. Bush would have won that election if it wasn’t for the leech votes of Ross Perot. Clinton was a an scoundrel adulterer. What and idol to worship. Good for George Bush! Not only a good soul but a great human being! Unlike your liberal loser friends.

Comments are closed.