Gordon Bush has served more than 40 years as a public servant, with 32 of those years as an elected official. That service includes St. Clair County Assessor, two-term mayor of East St. Louis, East St. Louis Building Commissioner, East St. Louis City Treasurer, and St. Clair County Board of Review. During his tenure as mayor, Gordon Bush was elected president of the National Council of Black Mayors.
Gordon Bush is also a decorated U.S. Army veteran with 29 years service. Upon his retirement, Lieutenant Colonel Bush received the U.S. Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Meritorious Service Medal. During a ceremony at the White House, President Bill Clinton presented Dr. Bush with a "Certificate of Appreciation" honoring his distinguished military career. Gordon Bush is also active on numerous boards and organizations including the NAACP, Shriners International, and the United States Army Reserves Officer Association. In 2006, the Gordon D. Bush Elementary School in East St. Louis opened in his honor. He is a lifetime member of the SIUE Alumni Association and received the SIUE Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996. He is also a member of the 2009 SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame.