Statement by President George W. Bush on Mike Gerson

Mike Gerson in the White House
Mike Gerson in the White House. Photo courtesy the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

DALLAS, TEXAS – Laura and I are heartbroken by the loss of our dear friend, Mike Gerson. He was a great writer, and I was fortunate he served as my chief speechwriter and a trusted advisor for many years.  His brilliant mind was enhanced by his big heart. As a result, Mike harnessed the power of the pen to not just write about good policy, but drive it. He was a key catalyst behind the lifesaving PEPFAR program, urging in 2002, “If we can do this and we don’t, it will be source of national shame.”

As Mike’s battle with cancer wore on, he told us he felt not fear, but gratitude – for all that he accomplished; for his dear wife, Dawn; for his wonderful children, Bucky and Nick; and for his faith in a loving God. Laura and I feel grateful, too, for all that Mike gave to his country.

After 9/11, Mike worked on my speech at the National Cathedral. Now I take comfort in what he wrote: “This world He created is of moral design. Grief and tragedy and hatred are only for a time. Goodness, remembrance, and love have no end. And the Lord of life holds all who die, and all who mourn.” May God keep Mike Gerson and watch over his family.

Mike Gerson with Presidential George W. Bush in the Oval Office.
Mike Gerson with President George W. Bush in the Oval Office. Photo courtesy the George W. Bush Library.