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George H.W. Bush ‘good man, bipartisan, humble, easy to talk to,’ Tony Hall says


Former Ambassador and Dayton Congressman Tony Hall said he remembers President George H.W. Bush as a kind and capable leader who often reached across party lines to get things done.

RELATED: See friends, colleagues pay Bush 41 last respects

Hall's comments came as thousands of mourners made their way through the U.S. Capitol rotunda to pay their last respects. 

"Good man, bipartisan, humble, easy to talk to," are the words Hall used to describe the former president. 

Despite being from different political parties, the president and Hall connected outside of politics.

Hall said when his son died of leukemia, Bush wrote him a touching personal letter. First lady Barbara Bush also wrote a letter to Hall's wife. The Bush's second daughter, Robin, died of leukemia in 1949.

RELATED: See live updates of George H.W. Bush services

Hall said later he and his wife were invited to the White House to talk with the president and first lady. Instead of meeting in the Oval Office, the conversation moved upstairs at the White House in the president's personal quarters. 

"For some reason," Hall said, "I got along with him well and his son, who became president, appointed me ambassador. So Republicans and Democrats, those are the days when people got along," Hall said. 

A Dayton Democrat, Hall served as ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in the administration of George W. Bush, a Republican. 

Hall said he and George H.W. Bush served at a time when bipartisanship was not a dirty word in Washington.

RELATED: See list of dignitaries attending Bush funeral

"With President Bush, if you went half way with him or he went half way with you, you could really get something done. I really liked him," Hall said. 

Hall remains involved in hunger issues on a national and local level. His local organization, the Hall Hunger Initiative, works in the Dayton region to fight hunger and improve access to healthy food in the community.

RELATED: What time is George H.W. Bush’s funeral?


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