Behind TIME’s Cover Commemorating George H.W. Bush’s Life

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Former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30 at the age of 94, appears on the cover of TIME this week, as the country commemorates his legacy in American politics.

Bush appeared on more than 20 covers of TIME during his life, first in 1970 as he campaigned for the U.S. Senate and last in 2015 as a second Bush son prepared to run for U.S. President.

He covers TIME once again this week in a photograph captured by American photographer Richard Avedon in 1976 for Rolling Stone as part of a series on people in power titled “The Family.” At the time of his 1976 portrait, Bush was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Twelve years later, he was elected President of the United States.

Bush was one of 69 people photographed for “The Family,” which coincided with the United States bicentennial election and included Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Cesar Chavez, Rose Kennedy, former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and Shirley Chisholm, the country’s first black woman elected to Congress.

“Politics interested Avedon increasingly throughout his lifetime,” Kara Vander Weg, director of Gagosian New York, told the Telegraph in 2014 when the series was displayed in London. “And America was almost bursting at the seams with it. He was a very intelligent man and he wanted to make a statement with his photography, not just about fashion and fame, but about something more important.”

Correction, Dec. 2:

The original version of this story misstated the job title of Kara Vander Weg. She is the director of Gagosian New York, not London.

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