Nancy Walker Bush Ellis

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Nancy Walker Bush Ellis
Nancy Walker Bush

(1926-02-04) February 4, 1926 (age 94)
EducationVassar College
Political partyRepublican (1988–present)
Democratic (before 1988)
Alexander Ellis II
m. 1946; died 1989)
Children4, including John, Alexander III, and Josiah Ellis
Parent(s)Prescott Bush
Dorothy Walker
RelativesGeorge H. W. Bush (brother)
George W. Bush (nephew)
Jeb Bush (nephew)

Nancy Walker Bush Ellis (born February 4, 1926) is the only sister of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and aunt of former President George W. Bush and the former governor of Florida John Ellis "Jeb" Bush. Her parents were Prescott Sheldon Bush (1895–1972) and Dorothy Walker Bush (1901–1992). Media consultant John Prescott Ellis and Josiah "Joe" Ellis, President and CEO of the Denver Broncos, are two of her four children. She is widowed and lives in Boston.[1]


Nancy Walker Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts. She graduated from Vassar College in 1946. On October 26, 1946, at St. Paul's Church, in Greenwich, Connecticut, she married Alexander Ellis II (1922–1989), an executive with insurance firm Fairfield & Ellis (which merged into Corroon & Black,[2] now a part of Willis Group Holdings Ltd.). Wedding guests included James L. Buckley, John V. Lindsay, John Chafee, and Nancy's brother George;[3] Office of Strategic Services agent William B. Macomber, Jr. was best man.[4] She had weekly lunches with her nephew George W. Bush while he attended the Harvard School of Business.[5]

Nancy and Alexander Ellis (1922–1989) had a daughter, Nancy Walker Ellis Black, and three sons, Alexander, John, and Josiah.[6]

Political activities[edit]

Although she had been a liberal Democrat and an environmentalist who actively fundraised for the NAACP and co-chaired the New England section of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund,[7] she joined the Republican Party in 1988 when her brother ran for president.[8] In September 2004, when her nephew was running for reelection, she visited London, Paris[5] and Frankfurt[1] on behalf of Republicans Abroad in an effort to encourage United States Republicans living in Europe to register and vote.[9]

Volunteer and charitable activities[edit]

Ellis has long volunteered with the Boston United South End Settlement House, of which she is an honorary director.[10] She has also volunteered with the New England Medical Center,[11] the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New England Conservatory of Music.[12]

As a board member of the Massachusetts Audubon Society,[7] a group that was critical of the George W. Bush administration's widespread encouragement of industry self-regulation,[13] Ellis led fundraising efforts[7] to establish Belize's Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area[14] and the environmental conservation program Programme for Belize.[14] She is also a member of the nongovernmental organization Pact.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Nancy Bush Promotes Voter Registration," Archived 2008-11-19 at the Wayback Machine September 23, 2004 press release, accessed 2008-07-15
  2. ^ New York Times obituary of Alexander Ellis Jr.
  3. ^ John Gizzi, "The Spirit of the Springfield Massacre"[dead link]
  4. ^ New York Times Oct 27, 1946 MISS NANCY BUSH BECOMES A BRIDE; She Is Attended by Nine
  5. ^ a b "Nancy Bush Ellis voter registration drive" in Republicans Abroad France Newsletter, Spring 2005, p. 6
  6. ^ Bush-Walker-Pierce-Robinson family tree
  7. ^ a b c d Pact Board of Directors biographies, accessed 2008-07-15
  8. ^ Kitty Kelley, The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, Random House, 2004. ISBN 0-385-50324-5
  9. ^ Andrea Gerlin, "Gone, but Not Forgotten", Time, October 17, 2004, accessed 2008-06-15
  10. ^ United South End Settlements Archived 2008-07-04 at the Wayback Machine, Board of Directors, accessed 2008-07-15
  11. ^ "Former Board Members Reunite" in Tufts Medical Center Floating Hospital for Children Honor Roll of Donors, p. 8
  12. ^ New England Conservatory Annual Report, 2005 Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Mass Audubon opposes weakening of the federal Endangered Species Act Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine, August 2004, Massachusetts Audubon Society, accessed 2008-07-15
  14. ^ a b Belize & Tikal, January 2006 Archived 2010-12-29 at the Wayback Machine, Massachusetts Audubon Society, accessed 2008-07-15