President George H.W. Bush made lasting impression in Las Vegas

Local News

One of the late president’s most trusted friends is a man who is well-known in Las Vegas.

Sig Rogich was an aide in the White House during President Bush’s time in office.

Rogich really got to know President George H. W. Bush in 1984 when he was in charge of marketing for that year’s presidential campaign. They formed a deep bond — one that would have significant impacts right in Nevada.

“I sent him a joke about 10 days ago,” said Sig Rogich, friend, advisor to President George Bush

That’s the kind of relationship Rogich had with President Bush. Soon after meeting in the early ’80s, Rogich became a good friend and close confidant to the president.

Even through the high stress of the White House, there was always time for a laugh.

“I’d kid him about the ties he wore. You know he was very preppy, he came from that part of the world, so I was always admonishing his selection of ties and suits.”

In more serious moments, Rogich created a bridge between the 41st president and the state of Nevada.

“He helped us on immeasurable things here that I went to him about, on water rights and land redistribution, so the state had more land at its disposal,” Rogich said.

In 1992, the two went on a trip to Opportunity Village in Las Vegas, a non-profit charity that provides employment to adults with mental disabilities. It’s also where former president Bush’s 1984 and ’88 campaign buttons were made.

“When he came, he didn’t just come and do a quick tour, he spent a lot of time with our kids and going through our old facility,” said Mike Morrissey, board member, Opportunity Village.

“He welled up when he saw those kids, I can tell you that,” Rogich said.

And anyone who knew him well, knows that’s the kind of man he was.

“It’s just George Bush, just he was, he was everything that you’d like to see in your president and everything you’d like to see in a friend,” Rogich said.

During that trip to Opportunity Village in the early ’90s, the late President Bush actually played a role in helping secure the organization’s future in Las Vegas.

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