Saturday 1 December 2018

Former US President George HW Bush Dead At 94

Former President George H.W. Bush dead at the age of 94 
George Herbert Walker Bush (left at his 1989 inauguration, main in 2013) died at 10.10pm CT on Friday at his home in Houston, his office confirmed in a statement. The statement did not specify the cause of death, but Bush had a form of Parkinson's disease and had been hospitalized several times for pneumonia and other infections in recent years. Days before his death, Bush was reportedly hospitalized with low blood pressure. The World War II hero, who presided over the final days of the Cold War and the crackup of the Soviet Union, died less than eight months after the April death of his wife of more than 70 years, Barbara (with him right). Bush's eldest son George W. Bush (with him inset), the 43rd president, reacted to his father's passing in a statement on behalf of his siblings, saying: 'Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died.'

George H.W. Bush, America's 41st president, died on Friday at his home in Houston age 94. He is seen above in 2013

'George H.W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41's life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared for and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens,' the younger Bush added.

Brent Scowcroft, the national security adviser during Bush's presidency, said: 'The world has lost a great leader; this country has lost one of its best; and I have lost one of my dearest friends. I am heartbroken.'

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania also paid tribute to Bush in a statement.

'Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service - to be, in his words, 'a thousand points of light' illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world,' the statement said.

'His example lives on, and will continue to stir future Americans to pursue a greater cause.'

Other former presidents also weighed in with condolences on Bush's death.
President George W. Bush sits at his desk in the Oval Office for the first time on Inauguration Day as his father, former President George H.W. Bush, looks on January 20, 2001
President George W. Bush sits at his desk in the Oval Office for the first time on Inauguration Day as his father, former President George H.W. Bush, looks on January 20, 2001

Bill Clinton, who defeated Bush in the 1992 election, said in a statement: 'I will be forever grateful for the friendship we formed. From the moment I met him as a young governor invited to his home in Kennebunkport, I was struck by the kindness he showed to Chelsea, by his innate and genuine decency, and by his devotion to Barbara, his children, and their growing brood.'

'Few Americans have been—or will ever be—able to match President Bush's record of service to the United States and the joy he took every day from it; from his military service in World War II, to his work in Congress, the United Nations, China, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Vice Presidency and the Presidency, where he worked to move the post Cold War world toward greater unity, peace, and freedom,' Clinton added.

Barack Obama said in a statement: 'America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush.'

'While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude. Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara's example,' he added.

The son of a senator and father of a president, Bush was the man with the golden resume who rose through the political ranks: from congressman to U.N. ambassador, Republican Party chairman to envoy to China, CIA director to two-term vice president under the hugely popular Ronald Reagan. 

The 1991 Gulf War stoked his popularity. But Bush would acknowledge that he had trouble articulating 'the vision thing,' and he was haunted by his decision to break a stern, solemn vow he made to voters: 'Read my lips. No new taxes.'

He lost his bid for re-election to Bill Clinton in a campaign in which businessman H. Ross Perot took almost 19 percent of the vote as an independent candidate. Still, he lived to see his son, George W., twice elected to the presidency - only the second father-and-son chief executives, following John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

After his 1992 defeat, Bush complained that media-created 'myths' gave voters a mistaken impression that he did not identify with the lives of ordinary Americans. He decided he lost because he 'just wasn't a good enough communicator.'

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