George W. Bush named 'Father of the Year'

George W. BushRonald Martinez/Getty ImagesFormer U.S. President George W. Bush attends a game between the Southern Methodist Mustangs and the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium on August 31, 2014 in Waco, Texas.

Former U.S. President George W. Bush credited fatherhood for getting him sober as he accepted a Father of the Year award in New York on Thursday (June 18).

“As a matter of fact, I don’t think I would have quit drinking had it not been for being a dad. You see what happened to me was alcohol was becoming a love and it was beginning to crowd out my affections for the most important love if you’re a dad and that’s loving your little girls. So for me, fatherhood meant sobriety from 1986 on,” he said.

Bush’s daughter Barbara presented her father with the award. Her twin sister Jenna was not at the luncheon, sponsored by the National Father’s Day Committee.

The 43rd U.S. president gave the audience a glimpse of his sense of humour as well as his emotional side, when he read an excerpt from a book he wrote about his father, 41st U.S. President, George H.W. Bush.

“I also learned of unconditional love. It’s one of the greatest gifts a dad can give a child, which leads me to a fitting reading I’m about to do and a practical one. Fitting because I’m about to read from the book that I wrote about my dad. Practical because I’m retired and I hope people buy it. It may be a little confusing for some up here to know that not only can I read, I can write,” he added.

The luncheon raised funds for Save the Children’s U.S. programmes.

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