Former President George H.W. Bush said he shaved his head to support a little boy with leukemia because it was "the right thing to do."
Photo: Office of George H.W. Bush
The 89-year-old Bush surprised the world this week with his new bald-headed appearance to honor Patrick, the 2-year-old son of one of his Secret Service Agents.
“When little Patrick got leukemia, lot of the agents shaved their heads,” Bush said in an interview aired Friday with his granddaughter, NBC "Today" correspondent Jenna Bush Hager. “I said, ‘Well why not me?’ It was the right thing to do.”
A photo of the bald former president with the little boy sitting in his lap went viral this week. According to "Today," Patrick's mother Alexandra was moved to tears when she saw 20 Secret Service agents plus the 41st president had shaved their heads to stand with her son.
“We are humbled and honored by the support and generosity that President and Mrs. Bush and our Secret Service family have shown towards our son...and are so very grateful for the outpouring of love and support from all over the country," the family said in a statement.
It's a deeply personal matter for the Bushes, who lost one of their children, Robin, to leukemia at age 3.
And since Bush went bald, a number of his staffers have gone under the shears as well.
Former first lady Barbara Bush said she likes the new look.
“I was shocked, surprised and thrilled,” she said. “But I think he looks beautiful and looks younger.”