George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, has died at age 94.
Family spokesman Jim McGrath says Bush died shortly after 10 pm Friday, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush.
“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 nation’s 41st president served from 1989 to 1993, and eight years later watched his son George W became the 43rd president.
The elder Bush saw his popularity swell with the United States’ success in the Gulf War in 1991, only to watch it evaporate in a brief but deep recession. The Republican was defeated in his bid for a second term by Democrat Bill Clinton.
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.
Bush had also been a World War II hero, Texas congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan’s vice president.
Only one other US president, John Adams, had a son who also became president.