Former PA Gov. Tom Ridge Reflects On His Friendship With George H.W. Bush

'He was an incredibly gracious, kind, generous and thoughtful guy all the way around'

Tom Ridge

Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - It is a week of mourning following the death of George H.W. Bush.

Former Governor of Pennsylvania and first director of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, joined KDKA Radio on Wednesday to talk about the legacy George H.W. Bush leaves behind him.

In 1980, Ridge started working for the George Bush for President Campaign in Erie, Pennsylvania.

“He was an incredibly gracious, kind, generous and thoughtful guy all the way around,” Ridge said.

Bush’s friendly personality was always one of his most popular characteristics.

Related: Last Salute: A Guide To George HW Bush's Funeral

“Whether you were a foreign leader or somebody with any other position in any walk of life, I frankly think he treated everybody the same,” Ridge tells KDKA Radio.

He was the honorary chairman of the National Organization of Disability. In 1990, he signed a bill that would ban the discrimination of individuals with disabilities. This would become a landmark decision.  

“Signing that bill, elevating the rights of people with disabilities in the United States, in his mind may have been the most significant thing he did as president,” Ridge added.

His accomplishments as the 41st President of the United States speaks volumes. Some people do not realize the challenges he had to face.  

“People forget what he did and how he was involved in four or five of the most significant changes in the geopolitical landscape in his four years as President,” Ridge explains.

“He managed them all simultaneously, and he managed them all well.”

For example, he presided over the Cold War and repelled Saddam’s aggression in Kuwait.

“The humility, decency and strong character began with his incredible service as a young man and stayed with him throughout his entire life,” said Ridge.

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