Former President George W. Bush was presented with the Father of the Year award Thursday by daughter Barbara at the 74th National Father’s Day awards luncheon held in New York City (see video). The fundraiser brought in $1.3 million for Save the Children’s U.S. programs.
In his usual self-deprecation style, Bush joked about himself, was thankful to be recognized, and credited fatherhood for helping him become sober after drinking in his younger years.
“As a matter of fact, I don’t think I would’ve 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 noted.
“I also learned of unconditional love,” he added, becoming emotional. “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.