Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. (Photo courtesy of the White House)
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. (Photo courtesy of the White House)

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush died Friday, Nov. 30, as reported by The New York Times and numerous other media outlets.

Bush was 94.

Bush was the 41st president of the United States and the father of the 43rd president, George W. Bush. Former President George W. Bush issued the following statement Friday:

"Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. 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 following biography is courtesy of the White House.



George H.W. Bush, as the 41st President (1989-1993), brought to the White House a dedication to traditional American values and a determination to direct them toward making the United States "a kinder and gentler nation" in the face of a dramatically changing world. In his Inaugural Address, he pledged in "a moment rich with promise" to use American strength as "a force for good."

Coming from a family with a tradition of public service, George Herbert Walker Bush felt the responsibility to make his contribution both in time of war and in peace. Born in Milton, Mass. on June 12, 1924, he became a student leader at Phillips Academy in Andover. On his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the armed forces. The youngest pilot in the Navy when he received his wings, he flew 58 combat missions during World War II. On one mission over the Pacific as a torpedo bomber pilot he was shot down by Japanese antiaircraft fire and was rescued from the water by a U. S. submarine. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action.

Bush next turned his energies toward completing his education and raising a family. In January 1945 he married Barbara Pierce. They had six children-- George, Robin (who died as a child), John (known as Jeb), Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy. Barbara Bush preceded him in death this April.

At Yale University, he excelled both in sports and in his studies; he was captain of the baseball team and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation Bush embarked on a career in the oil industry of West Texas.

Like his father, Prescott Bush, who was elected a Senator from Connecticut in 1952, George became interested in public service and politics. He served two terms as a Representative to Congress from Texas. Twice he ran unsuccessfully for the Senate. Then he was appointed to a series of high-level positions: Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U. S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 1980 Bush campaigned for the Republican nomination for President. He lost, but was chosen as a running mate by Ronald Reagan. As Vice President, Bush had responsibility in several domestic areas, including Federal deregulation and anti-drug programs, and visited scores of foreign countries. In 1988 Bush won the Republican nomination for President and, with Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana as his running mate, he defeated Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis in the general election.

Bush faced a dramatically changing world, as the Cold War ended after 40 bitter years, the Communist empire broke up, and the Berlin Wall fell. The Soviet Union ceased to exist; and reformist President Mikhail Gorbachev, whom Bush had supported, resigned. While Bush hailed the march of democracy, he insisted on restraint in U.S. policy toward the group of new nations.

In other areas of foreign policy, President Bush sent American troops into Panama to overthrow the corrupt regime of General Manuel Noriega, who was threatening the security of the canal and the Americans living there. Noriega was brought to the United States for trial as a drug trafficker.

Bush's greatest test came when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, then threatened to move into Saudi Arabia. Vowing to free Kuwait, Bush rallied the United Nations, the U. S. people, and Congress and sent 425,000 American troops. They were joined by 118,000 troops from allied nations. After weeks of air and missile bombardment, the 100-hour land battle dubbed Desert Storm routed Iraq's million-man army.

Despite unprecedented popularity from this military and diplomatic triumph, Bush was unable to withstand discontent at home from a faltering economy, rising violence in inner cities, and continued high deficit spending. In 1992 he lost his bid for reelection to Democrat William Clinton.

(The Presidential biographies on WhiteHouse.gov are from “The Presidents of the United States of America,” by Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. Copyright 2006 by the White House Historical Association.)

President Donald Trump issued the following statement Dec. 1 on Bush’s passing:

“Melania and I join with a grieving nation to mourn the loss of former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away last night.

“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.

“President Bush always found a way to set the bar higher. As a young man, he captained the Yale baseball team, and then went on to serve as the youngest aviator in the United States Navy during the Second World War. Later in life, he rose to the pinnacle of American politics as a congressman from Texas, envoy to China, Director of Central Intelligence, vice president of eight years to President Ronald Reagan and finally President of the United States.

“With sound judgment, common sense and unflappable leadership, President Bush guided our nation, and the world, to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War. As president, he set the stage for the decades of prosperity that have followed. And through all that he accomplished, he remained humble, following the quiet call to service that gave him a clear sense of direction.

“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. 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.”

The following statement was released by former President Barack Obama:

“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. Not merely for the years he spent as our 41st President, but for the more than 70 years he spent in devoted service to the country he loved – from a decorated Naval aviator who nearly gave his life in World War II, to Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces, with plenty of posts along the way. Ambassador to the United Nations. Director of Central Intelligence. U.S. Envoy to China. Vice President of the United States.

“George H.W. Bush’s life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. And he did tremendous good along the journey. Expanding America’s promise to new immigrants and people with disabilities. Reducing the scourge of nuclear weapons and building a broad international coalition to expel a dictator from Kuwait. And when democratic revolutions bloomed across Eastern Europe, it was his steady, diplomatic hand that made possible an achievement once thought anything but — ending the Cold War without firing a shot.

“It’s a legacy of service that may never be matched, even though he’d want all of us to try.

“After 73 years of marriage, George and Barbara Bush are together again, now two points of light that never dimmed, two points of light that ignited countless others with their example – the example of a man who, even after commanding the world’s mightiest military, once said ‘I got more of a kick out of being one of the founders of the YMCA in Midland, Texas back in 1952 than almost anything I’ve done.’

“What a testament to the qualities that make this country great. Service to others. Commitment to leaving behind something better. Sacrifice in the name of lifting this country closer to its founding ideals. Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example.”

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) issued the following statement Saturday morning:

“George H.W. Bush did it all. He was a war hero, a Congressman, an ambassador, Vice President and President during one of the most momentous periods in our country's history. An early boss and mentor, President Bush was one of the most decent and honorable men I’ve ever known, and a model that I have tried to follow in my years in public service. It was honor to have worked for him when he was president and to have had his continued advice and counsel over the years. At the close of this truly great American life, let us honor his legacy by following his example of patriotism, public service, and bipartisan problem-solving. Jane and I send our condolences to the entire Bush family, and we join them in mourning this extraordinary public servant and American hero.” 

Second District Congressman Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, released the following statement:

“America has lost a great statesman and a true patriot in George H.W. Bush. From the skies over the Pacific in the Second World War to the halls of Congress, the UN, the CIA, and the White House, his life of service was a testament to his deep love for America and his dedication to making our nation and our world a better place. My prayers and deepest condolences are with George, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Dorothy and all of the Bush family."