Celebrity myths: George W. Bush Cocaine Bust

Some celebrity myths are spawned by tabloid sites, well, actually many of them originate that way. However, in the case of the 43rd US President George W. Bush, the myth of his cocaine bust was promulgated by a book by the late author James Hatfield.

The biography entitled “Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President” stated that the ubiquitous “unnamed” sources had confirmed that in 1972, Bush, then age 26, was arrested on a possession of cocaine. The book stated that Bush used his family ties to avoid a felony record and jail term in exchange for community service.

The book was intended for release in 1999 when Bush, then governor of Texas, was launching his presidential bid as the presumptuous GOP front-runner. In a political sense, the allegation was a hit piece designed to wreak havoc on Bush and score book sales. Trouble with Hatfield’s past emerged including a 1988 conviction for orchestrating a car-bomb killing of his former employer.

No one died in the incident, but Hatfield’s failure to disclose his conviction got the publisher to withhold the book’s 90,000 print copies. Hatfield was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in July, 2001, ahead of his looming arrest for credit card fraud.

Book: Bush was arrested for cocaine in 1972