George W. Bush Underwent Back Surgery, Spent January Recuperating

Tom DeFrank, National Journal
George W. Bush Underwent Back Surgery, Spent January Recuperating

As it turns out, George H.W. Bush isn’t the only former president named Bush with medical problems.

RELATED: What the Winklevii and Former Bush Staffers Have in Common

Two sources close to the Bush family have told National Journal that George W. Bush quietly underwent back surgery several months ago to deal with a nagging disc problem.

RELATED: Obama Has Given Three Times as Many Interviews as Bush

The 43rd president and his wife, Laura, spent the entire month of January in Florida so Bush could recuperate from the surgery and take in some spring-training baseball.

RELATED: Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz Are Not Dating


These sources say Bush’s doctors told him to give up golf until his back healed, but he managed to sneak in some chipping and putting in Florida and has now been seen back on the links at a Dallas country club.

RELATED: Bush's Crew Is Gunning for Rick Perry

“He has a tendency to overdo it, but he does love his golf,” a friend chuckled.

RELATED: Osama bin Laden Is Still Most Wanted: As a Talking Point

Bush 43’s lumbar malady wasn’t nearly so dire as his father’s brush with death just after Christmas. The 41st president, who is 88, spent weeks in a Houston hospital fighting off a nasty bout of pneumonia and an infection. His prognosis was so guarded that some family members were urged to make travel plans to Houston to prepare for the worst.

But the elder Bush rallied, and his doctors have OK'd his attendance at the dedication of his son’s presidential library and institute in Dallas on April 25.