Former Republican White House press secretary dead at 81

Many Republicans were saddened this week to learn that former George H.W. Bush administration press secretary Paul Roussel died of cancer on Wednesday at the age of 81.  

Roussel was a professor for many years at Sam Houston State University, which hosts his official biography on its website.

Roussel entered the political world in 1969

The page explains that Roussel began his career in 1966 by working for a series of public relations and advertising firms.

He subsequently entered the world politics three years later when he became press secretary to the newly elected Texas Rep. George H.W. Bush in 1969.

Roussel continued to act as Bush’s press secretary when he was appointed by President Richard Nixon to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in 1971.

From 1974 until 1976 Roussel served as President Gerald R. Ford staff assistant to. He came back to the White House in 1981 to become special assistant and deputy press secretary under President Ronald Regan.

Roussel stayed in the latter role until 1987 but returned to serve as White House after George H.W. Bush won the presidency two years later.

The bio goes on to add that Roussel enjoyed a distinguished career, being named Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Houston in 1983 as well as winning the school’s first-ever Distinguished School of Communication Alumni Award in 1986.

Roussel remained a close friend of the Bush family, a fact noted by KBTX 3 after the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush in 2018.

“Barbara and George Bush are two of the most down-to-earth, sincere, and genuine, help me out I’m running out of adjectives,” he told the station.

Roussel remembered as “a good man”

Tributes to Roussel appeared on social media, with journalist John Ferrugia remembering him as “a good man who served three presidents.”

Fellow journalist Paul Pendergraft spoke up as well, tweeting that Roussel “was a remarkable political resource” as well as a genuinely good man and friend.