Former US President George HW Bush dies

Saul Bowman
December 3, 2018

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, a man born of patrician pedigree, but with a sense of honor, duty and service to his country that played out over the last 60 years of the 20th century, died Friday at age 94.

Bush was a steadfast force on the worldwide stage for decades, from his stint as an envoy to Beijing to his eight years as vice president and his one term as commander in chief from 1989 to 1993.

Bush called his father a "man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for", in a statement announcing his death. "A lot of them had fought in World War II and they looked at each other not as partisan enemies, but people who had been comrades in arms".

He served as commander-in-chief from 1989 to 1993 and eight years later watched his son also become the country's leader. His failed 1980 presidential ended in his tenure as Reagan's vice president.

Under Gerald Ford, Nixon's successor, Bush served first as an envoy to China, before becoming director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1976, stepping down from the role after less than a year when Jimmy Carter took the White House for the Democrats.

In the 1992 election, a beleaguered Bush appeared helpless against the challenge of the younger, more charismatic Bill Clinton.

After two terms and another failed Senate bid in 1970, he was appointed by President Richard Nixon as US ambassador to the United Nations.

Bush presided over economic malaise at home, and infuriated his fellow Republicans during a budget battle with rival Democrats by famously breaking his vow: "Read my Lips: No new taxes".

They were married for 73 years.

Trump, who upended the GOP establishment with his insurgent presidential campaign, has had a fractious relationship with the Bush family over the years.

George Snr - nicknamed "41" to distinguish himself from his son, "43" - was the 41st President of the United States.

George H.W. is survived by his two siblings, five children, his 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

The Office of Barack and Michelle Obama said that "America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush".

The importance of building up relationships was an ethos Bush brought not only to domestic politics, but also to worldwide affairs, which became his major focus as president.

George Jr revealed that a "crowning achievement" of his father, who was fond of coming up with nicknames for friends and family, was anointing Barbara, "The Silver Fox" in honour of her snowy white hair.

Mr Gorbachev said that he and his wife, Raisa, "deeply appreciated the attention, kindness and simplicity typical of George and Barbara Bush, as well as the rest of their large, friendly family".

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