Remembering Margaret Thatcher And Her Houston Connection

Upon the passing of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — former President George Bush issued a statement calling her one of the 20th century's fiercest advocates of freedom.

Mr. Bush and Baroness Thatcher were political allies for years, first when George Bush served as Vice President for two terms under Ronald Reagan and then during the start of his own presidential tenure.

In 1995, Mr. Bush, Mrs. Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev were on a panel discussing the United States’ role as an international policeman.

“Saddam Hussein would still be in Kuwait and probably right down the Gulf and in charge of 60 percent of the world’s oil reserves, unless George Bush and Britain and other nations hadn’t taken action and thrown the tyrant out!”

Jim McGrath, the Bush family spokesman, says the two political leaders first met in 1976 or 77, around the time that George Bush was director of the CIA and Margaret Thatcher was leader of the opposition.

“Their relationship really started as a personal one. Baroness Thatcher was visiting the United States as a rising member of the Conservative Party in Britain and she visited Houston, Texas and actually visited George and Barbara Bush in their home here in Houston. They had no way of knowing that 12 years later they’d be leaders of their respective countries.”

Mrs. Thatcher also had her first taste of Texas hospitality at the Warwick Hotel, where she got accidentally locked in the bathroom on more than one occasion.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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