George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States, dies at 94
George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States of America, has died at the age of 94.
The news came from an official statement from Bush’s office late Friday evening.
“He was 94 and survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two siblings,” the statement read. “He is preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara.”
Bush was president of the U.S. from 1989 to 1993 and brought a “dedication to traditional American values” and a determination to make the U.S. a “kinder and gentler nation,” according to a White House biography.
Former U.S. president Barack Obama tweeted his condolences, saying “America has lost a patriot and humble servant … While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude.”
Former prime minister Stephen Harper released a statement on Bush’s passing, saying Bush was a “conservative leader and deeply devoted family man” and left behind “an incredible, enduring legacy.”
Born in Milton, Mass., on June 12, 1924, he enlisted in the armed forces on his 18th birthday. Being the youngest pilot in the navy when he began flying, he flew 58 combat missions during the Second World War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action.
In January 1945, he married Barbara Pierce and together they had six children — George, Robin (who died as a child), John (known as Jeb), Neil, Marvin and Dorothy.
Bush served two terms as a representative to Congress from Texas and served as ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Bush served as vice-president to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and in 1988 won the Republican nomination for president.
His presidency fell during a time of dramatic change as the Cold War ended, the Soviet Union broke up and the Berlin Wall fell.
Bush faced a serious challenge when former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Bush was able to create an international coalition and led a military strike to drive Hussein out of the country.
He was not re-elected in 1992, which was attributed to breaking his pledge to not introduce new taxes. He was defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton.
Eight years later, though, he was able to watch his son, George W. Bush, become the 43rd president of the United States. Only one other U.S. president, John Adams, had a son who also became president.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.