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Jenna Bush Hager shares letter to her late ‘Gampy' George HW Bush on his 100th birthday

“He was gentle,” Jenna said. “He led with kindness. He wanted to be the type of leader that listened.”

Jenna Bush Hager is remembering her late grandfather, the United States’ 41st president, George H.W. Bush, on what would have been his 100th birthday.

On June 12, Jenna paid tribute to her late “Gampy” by reading to viewers a letter she wrote to him about his impact on her life. 

Dear Gampy,

We miss you. We miss your letters and emails. We miss racing through the waves of the Atlantic on your boat fishing ... laughing and debating around the dinner table.

We miss your rules: Don’t be afraid to shed a tear when your heart is broken or because a friend is hurting. Nobody likes an overbearing big shot. As you succeed, be kind to people. Thank those who help you along the way.

We miss your quiet compassion, like when you shaved your head for the son of your secret service agent who had leukemia.

We miss your belief that our country is greater when we work together, and your lifelong dedication to our country as one of the youngest navy pilots in World War II. 

On this day, many of your grandkids — inspired by you — will jump out of a plane. Your milestone birthday tradition that you so proudly did in honor of the nation’s military. 

Gampy, you have been gone for eight years, but we feel you still as we look into the sky and see a thousand points of light ... in simple acts of love ... in the smiles of your great grandchildren.

Jenna’s tribute had TODAY co-anchor Hoda Kotb in tears.

“The life lessons he taught that you summed up in that short piece were incredible,” Hoda said. “And what struck me so, was the kindness. It’s like, we’re better when we’re kinder.” 

“He was gentle,” Jenna said. “He led with kindness. He wanted to be the type of leader that listened.”

George H.W. Bush passed away at the age of 94 in 2018, less than 8 months after the death of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush.

Jenna and her twin sister, Barbara, were both greatly influenced by their Gampy. Barbara chose to marry right after getting engaged to Craig Coyne in 2018, so that her ailing grandfather could attend.

George H.W. Bush, like Jenna, loved putting his feelings down on paper.

“He wrote us the most beautiful letters when he was in his 70s, 80s, about being together, about how all he wanted was us to come home and that that was what brought him the most joy, was to be surrounded by his grandkids and his family,” Jenna shared on TODAY on June 5.

George H.W. Bush and Barbara shared six children: Former President George W. Bush, 77, Jeb Bush, 71, Neil Bush, 69, Marvin Bush, 67, Dorothy Bush Koch, 64, and Pauline “Robin” Bush, who died at the age of 3 from leukemia.

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