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George H.W. Bush, pictured during his run for a Texas Senate seat, on the Oct. 26, 1970, cover of TIME. Illustration by Mort Drucker.
George H.W. Bush, pictured during his run for a Texas Senate seat, on the Oct. 26, 1970, cover of TIME. Illustration by Mort Drucker.TIME Magazine
George H.W. Bush, pictured during his run for a Texas Senate seat, on the Oct. 26, 1970, cover of TIME. Illustration by Mort Drucker.
George H.W. Bush, pictured as part of Gerald Ford's team, on the Nov. 17, 1975, cover of TIME
Ronald Reagan & George H.W. Bush on the Jul. 28, 1980, cover of TIME. Cover photo by Neil Leifer.
Ronald Reagan & George H.W. Bush on the Aug. 27, 1984, cover of TIME. Cover photo by Dirck Halstead.
George H.W. Bush, top left, with Geraldine Ferraro, Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan, on the Oct. 22, 1984, cover of TIME. Illustration by Edward Sorel.
George H.W. Bush, pictured among other presidential contenders, on the Feb. 29, 1988, cover of TIME.
George H.W. Bush on the Mar. 21, 1988, cover of TIME. Illustration by Daniel Schwartz.
George H.W. Bush on the Aug. 22, 1988, cover of TIME. Cover photo by William Coupon.
George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle on the Aug. 29, 1988, cover of TIME. Cover photo by Dennis Brack.
October 24, 1988 cover of TIME magazine. Cover photos: 1960 debate by Paul Schutzer, 1988 debate by Steve Liss.
George H.W. Bush on the Nov. 21, 1988, cover of TIME. Cover photo by Cynthia Johnson.
George H.W. Bush, with Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, on the Dec. 19, 1988, cover of TIME. Cover photo by Dirck Halstead.
George H.W. Bush on the Jan. 30, 1989, cover of TIME. Photo credit by Dirck Halstead.
George H.W. Bush on the Aug. 21, 1989, cover of TIME.
George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev on the Dec. 11, 1989, cover of TIME. Cover photo by Diana Walker.
Saddam Hussein and George H.W. Bush on the Aug. 20, 1990, cover of TIME. Cover photo credits: Dirck Halstead (Bush); Thomas Hartwell (Saddam).
George H.W. Bush, Men of the Year, on the Jan. 7, 1991, cover of TIME. Cover photo by Gregory Heisler.
George H.W. Bush, with possible vice-presidential candidates, on the May 20, 1991, cover of TIME. Computer-altered State of the Union photo by Diana Walker.
George H.W. Bush on the Aug. 24, 1992, cover of TIME. Photo credit by William Coupon.
George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and H. Ross Perot on the Oct. 12, 1992, cover of TIME Cover photos: George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot; Bush by Diana Walker, Clinton by Steve Liss, Perot by Shelly Katz-Black Star.
Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush on the Oct. 19, 1992, cover of TIME. Photo by Cynthia Johnson.
The 'Bush Dynasty' on the Aug. 7, 2000, cover of TIME.
George H.W. Bush, Jeb Bush and George W. Bush on the Mar. 16, 2015, cover of TIME. Cover photo: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum/Corbis.
George H.W. Bush Time Magazine Cover
George H.W. Bush, pictured during his run for a Texas Senate seat, on the Oct. 26, 1970, cover of TIME. Illustration by
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TIME Magazine
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A Half-Century of George H.W. Bush on the Cover of TIME

Updated: Dec 06, 2018 1:04 PM ET | Originally published: Dec 01, 2018

When President George H.W. Bush, who died on Nov. 30 at the age of 94, eight months after his wife Barbara, first appeared on the cover of TIME in 1970, it was as a knight battling for a Senate seat in Texas. Bush was part of a wave of Republicans seeking office in that chamber at the time — one whose sense of humor made an impression on the magazine:

Chronicling the travels and travails of Texas' George Bush, Correspondent Leo Janos reports that one afternoon they landed at a private airport in Fort Worth only to find the place deserted. "Well, what does TIME think of this warm and friendly reception?" Bush asked. "Positively Humphreyish," replied Janos. "No," grinned the candidate. "Bush-league."

Bush lost that race, but over the nearly 50 years that followed he would prove that his political skills were anything but amateur. From Senate candidate to President of the United States to political patriarch, Bush appeared on the cover of TIME in all those guises, nearly two dozen times during his life. With his death, that list gained an entry.

Here's a look back at that evolution.

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