Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Former US president George HW Bush dies

Former US president George HW Bush dies

"He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years; his second child Pauline Robinson "Robin" Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or "Bucky" Bush".

George P Bush, Texas land commissioner and grandson of the former president, tweeted: "My grandfather was the greatest man I ever knew".

Announcing the death of his "dear Dad" in a statement on Friday, Bush said: "George HW Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for".

Mr Bush lost his bid for re-election to Bill Clinton in a campaign in which businessman H Ross Perot took nearly 19% of the vote as an independent candidate.

Bush, the 41st president of the United States, who lived longer than any of his predecessors and possessed one of the most impressive resumes in American political history, died peacefully at his home in Houston, according to a source close to the family. His son George Walker Bush was president from 2001 to 2009, making them only the second father and son to hold the office, after John Adams (1797-1801) and John Quincy Adams (1825-1829).

Barbara first met George Snr when she was 17 years old and they married in January 1945, when she was 19.

News of his death last night was confirmed by his son, George W Bush, in a statement.

Clinton, who defeated Bush in the 1992 presidential election, says he was always struck by Bush's "innate and genuine decency" and by his devotion to his wife Barbara and his family.

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He served as the 41st president of the United States between 1989 and 1993. He was a naval fighter pilot in World War II, attacking Japanese targets at the age of 18, victorious in one of the war's largest air battles, the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

Bush did not endorse fellow Republican Trump, the eventual victor of the 2016 presidential election, who attacked both Jeb and George W. Bush during his campaign.

His presidency coincided with a period of world upheaval that saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the start of America's post-Cold War conflicts.

George Snr's actions after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait led to the destruction of Iraq's armies and the restoration of Kuwait's independence. Eight years later, he helped his eldest son, George Jnr, become president by joining him on the campaign trail.

Mrs Bush died in April 2018.

On Friday Obama, the 44th president, said in a statement that America had "lost a patriot and humble servant".

After a brief career in the oil industry, he entered politics, serving in the US House of Representatives and as chief of the Central Intelligence Agency before being elected Ronald Reagan's vice president. "Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight - and all who were inspired by George and Barbara's example".

He had to ditch one plane in the Pacific and was shot down on September 2, 1944, while completing a bombing run against a Japanese radio tower.

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