George HW Bush, who as the 41st president shepherded the US through a turbulent period in global relations that included the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, has died. He was 94.
A statement from his office said: “George Herbert Walker Bush, world war two naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st president of the United States of America, died on 30 November 2018.
Statement by the Office of George H. W. Bush on the passing of the 41st President of the United States of America this evening at 10:10pm CT at the age of 94. pic.twitter.com/XUPgha2aUW
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) December 1, 2018
“He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two siblings. He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline Robinson ‘Robin’ Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or ‘Bucky’ Bush. Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as is practical.”
George W Bush issued a statement on behalf of his family: “Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. George HW 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.”
— George W. Bush Presidential Center (@TheBushCenter) December 1, 2018
A statement from Donald Trump praised Bush for his “sound judgment, common sense and unflappable leadership”.
President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life. Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family. His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2018
Former US President Barack Obama also issued words of tribute on Twitter saying that “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/g9OUPu2pjY
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 1, 2018
A moderate conservative who served a single term in office between 1989 and 1993, Bush lacked the charisma or polarising ideology of his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, under whom he had served as vice-president.
The late former president survived being shot down over the Pacific, led the CIA and spent eight years as Vice President to Ronald Reagan.
He was elected as President in 1988 and served until 1993. He was defeated in his bid for a second term by Democrat Bill Clinton.
His wife, Barbara, died at the age of 92 in April.
But he was widely respected for showing a steady hand during an uncertain moment in history during which the Berlin Wall came down, Soviet-sponsored communism in eastern Europe collapsed and the US emerged as the single global superpower.
Bush will inevitably be remembered, too, as the patriarch of the Bush political tribe, one of the most successful political dynasties in America. The 41st president was father to George W Bush, the 43rd, and Jeb Bush, who ran unsuccessfully against Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.
The US Army also posted a tribute on Twitter. “His time and legacy in office and to our country will not be forgotten,” the tweet read in part.
Rest in Peace
41st President, George H.W. Bush and WWII veteran, passed at 94, Nov. 30.
His time and legacy in office and to our country will not be forgotten. Our deepest condolences to the Bush Family. https://t.co/3HZRkPFspC
— U.S. Army (@USArmy) December 1, 2018