Former president of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush, has died at age 94.
His death was announced by his family Friday night. The president’s health had been in decline in recent months.
“George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings,” the former president’s office said in a statement. “He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline “Robin” Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or “Bucky” Bush.”
His son George W. Bush, who served as the country’s 43rd president, released a statement of his own from the family.
“Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” George W. Bush said. “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 and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens.”
The family said funeral arrangements would be announced “as soon as is practical.”
President Donald Trump sent a lengthy statement just past midnight on Saturday on behalf of he and first lady Melania Trump.
“Melania and I join with a grieving Nation to mourn the loss of former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away last night,” Trump wrote. “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.
“Along with his full life of service to country, we will remember President Bush for his devotion to family — especially the love of his life, Barbara,” he continued. “His example lives on, and will continue to stir future Americans to pursue a greater cause. Our hearts ache with his loss, and we, with the American people, send our prayers to the entire Bush family, as we honor the life and legacy of 41.”
He sent a follow-up tweet Saturday morning from the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, calling him a “truly wonderful man.”
George H.W. Bush and Trump had a contentious relationship recently. Trump did not attend first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral, regularly took shots at fellow 2016 presidential contender Jeb Bush and slammed Bush’s famous “thousand points of light” speech at a rally in July, saying, “Thousand points of light, what the hell was that by the way? Thousands points of light. What did that mean? Does anyone know?”
The former president had several health scares over the past year, including one just days after his wife’s funeral.
Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital with a blood infection on April 22 — two days after the funeral for his wife of 73 years, former first lady Barbara Bush.
He is survived by his five children, including former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Bush was with there his wife when she died at the age of 92 on April 17.
“He of course is broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara, his wife of 73 years. He held her hand all day and was at her side when [she] left this good earth,” a statement from his office said after her death. “But it will not surprise all of you who know and love him, that he also is being stoic and strong, and is being lifted up by his large and supportive family.”
Bush was a key part of his family’s political dynasty. His father was a senator; and his son George W. Bush was president from 2001 to 2009.
He served two terms as President Ronald Reagan’s second-in-command and became the first incumbent vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1836.
But Bush’s tenure in the White House was limited to four years. He was defeated for re-election by Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992. A weakened economy, a limited domestic agenda and a broken promise against raising taxes contributed to Bush’s defeat.
Bush was a one-time oil executive who spent years in government service, including terms as CIA director, ambassador to the United Nations and liaison to the People’s Republic of China. He was also elected to the House of Representatives as a congressman from Texas. Following his time in the White House, he and his wife moved to Houston, where they led a relatively quiet life.
Bush began experiencing health problems during his presidency. In 1991, he was treated at a hospital for an irregular heartbeat. Doctors diagnosed him as having Graves disease, a thyroid condition that, by coincidence, his wife also had.
Bush experienced a recurrence of the irregular heartbeat in February 2000, when he was attending a reception in Naples, Florida. He spent a night in the hospital, but smiled and joked with reporters the next day.
In November 2012, he was admitted to a Houston hospital for bronchitis and a chronic cough. He was expected to return home well before Christmas but remained hospitalized after the holiday. Officials said he had a high fever and had been placed on a liquids-only diet.
In 2017, the former president was admitted to the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist Hospital to “address an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia,” according to his office.
His family has said publicly that the former president was no longer able to walk unassisted, a frustration for a man who enjoyed an active lifestyle of golf, fishing, jogging and power walks on the beach near his summer home in Maine.
Source: ABC NEWS