The 2019 George Bush Award For Excellence in Public Service Presented to Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major

The 2019 George Bush Award For Excellence in Public Service Presented to Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major

HOUSTON, TX – The George & Barbara Bush Foundation presented its 2019 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service to the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir John Major, on Thursday, November 21st at the Post Oak Hotel in Houston. Former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III presented the award at the start of the Bush Foundation’s 10th anniversary Vintner Dinner – the organization’s leading fundraising event of the year.

It marked the first time the Bush Award has been given since President Bush’s passing, and is the first such Award presented at the Foundation’s Vintner Dinner.

“John Major never backed down from duty or responsibility,” Secretary Baker said in lauding the 2019 recipient of the Bush Award, “and he always understood that the special relationship which binds the United States and the United Kingdom relies on a mutual trust born from a shared culture, history and interests. Years later, President Bush said of John Major that ‘We had no more loyal leader of the (Persian Gulf War) coalition.’”

Sir John, 76, entered the British Parliament in 1979, and Government in 1983.  He joined Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1987; was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in July 1989; and Chancellor of the Exchequer soon afterwards.  He became Prime Minister in November of 1990.

As Prime Minister, Sir John focused his efforts upon securing peace in Northern Ireland and upholding Britain’s position in the world community as a political, social and economic leader.  He also took a leading role alongside President George H.W. Bush in the first Gulf War and survived an IRA mortar attack on 10 Downing Street.

“George Bush has now become an American icon – and to Europe, to Asia, and to the Middle East, he is remembered as a true citizen of the world who was known and respected, liked and trusted, in every corner of the globe,” Sir John said. “He was not merely a President who was admired, he was a man who was loved, because he embodied the decency, humanity and humility that many in politics so often lack.”

The George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes an individual’s or group’s dedication to public service at the local, state, national or international levels. The ten previous Bush Award recipients are: German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (2000); Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (2001); U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy (2003); California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2004); Reverend Bill Graham (2006); Secretary Bob Gates (2007); President Ronald W. Reagan (2011); Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser of Qatar (2013); U.S. Senator Bob Dole (2016); and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (2018).

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Foundation’s annual Vintner Dinner and Wine Auction, which directly benefits The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and the George & Barbara Bush Foundation. As always, this year’s dinner features fine wines hand-picked to perfectly pair with a multi-course dinner. The event will begin with a silent auction of one-of-a-kind Bush Family memorabilia and specialty items, and end with a live auction of luxurious excursions and unique wine packages.

Special gratitude goes to our world-class participating vintners, which include:

  • Alexander Valley Vineyards
  • Altamura Vineyards & Winery
  • Aperture Cellars
  • Champagne Pol Roger
  • Cordelina Wine Company
  • Corley Family Napa Valley
  • Fisher Vineyards
  • Frio Canyon Vineyard
  • Groth Vineyards & Winery
  • LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards
  • McPherson Cellars
  • Rombauer Vineyards
  • Thompson 31Fifty Wines
  • Tom Eddy Winery


The George & Barbara Bush Foundation is dedicated to preserving the historic legacies of service best exemplified by President and Mrs. Bush by supporting the education and service-oriented programs at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and The Bush School of Government and Public Service — and by organizing and sponsoring programs inspired by the 41st President and Mrs. Bush that highlight the value and virtue of public service in its many forms. Follow us also on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. More information at: