President George H. W. Bush and Justice Powell

Lewis F. Powell Jr. apparently first met George H. W. Bush around 1974. That is when they began a correspondence that discussed domestic and world politics. National Security was a topic important to both of them, and that is borne out in their letters. They wrote of family and friends, as well.

They and their spouses remained friends after Bush became Vice President and President of the United States. They exchanged Christmas Cards. Even after Powell retired from the Supreme Court, the families stayed in touch through events like a 1991 visit to Camp David by the Supreme Court Justices, which included Retired Justices.

These two important figures of the last part of the 20th century shared a world view and a sense of America’s place in it. They also shared a sense of the importance of  family, the significance of public service, and the primacy of country over party or self interest.