TAMPA (FOX 13) - President George H. W. Bush is being remembered by former Florida Governor Bob Martinez after his death late Friday at his home in Houston.
Governor Martinez, who served in the president's cabinet, says Bush is leaving behind an inspiring legacy, showing that no matter age or illness you can still do meaningful work that'll make a difference.
The two met for the first time in the Oval Office more than 35 years ago when George H. W. Bush was vice president.
"What a great man," Martinez said. "Not only as an individual, but a husband."
The former president was married for 73 years to his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, who died in April.
A photo of Martinez and his wife at the White House Christmas party with the president and first lady is just one of the dozens of memories he has with the president.
"This is after I got sworn in," Martinez said. "That's my son there, so we went into the Oval Office for a few minutes."
The former governor was appointed by the president in 1991 to serve as the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
"The president called and said 'I got to fill this vacancy and wanted to see if you wanted to be the second drug czar,'" Martinez recalled. "And so I accepted and we had a news conference November 30."
Strangely enough, the same day -- exactly 28 years later -- would be his last.
"One of the things I really admired, which fits into what he did his entire life, is despite that he had Parkinson's, he led a public life," Martinez continued.
At 92 years old, the president and first lady received a standing ovation at Super Bowl 51, where the president was asked to do the coin toss.
"He let himself be televised," Martinez said. "Although he had some speech impediment because of Parkinson's, that didn't stop him. And I think that was a real leadership quality to all of those that have any kind of serious illness."
Martinez and his wife plan to attend to the former president's funeral Wednesday at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.