Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Former US President George H.W. Bush Dead at Age 94

Former US President George H.W. Bush Dead at Age 94

The senior Bush had a lifetime of public service before he became president - as a young Navy pilot in World War II, Texas congressman, Central Intelligence Agency director and faithful vice president to Ronald Reagan.

Even his most famous soundbite - "Read my lips: No new taxes", Bush had promised during his 1988 election campaign - came back to haunt him as the pledge was broken, prompting rebellion among the Republicans' conservative base and a haemorrhaging of the popular support he had enjoyed in the aftermath of the Gulf War.

US President Donald Trump has expressed condolences, praising Bush's "authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family and country".

George W Bush, who was the 43rd president, issued a statement following his father's death.

Along with his full life of service to the country, we will remember President Bush for his devotion to family-especially the love of his life, Barbara.

His failed 1980 presidential ended in his tenure as Reagan's vice president.

In 2011, Obama awarded Bush the highest U.S. civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Still, he lived to see son George W. twice elected to the presidency - only the second father and son chief executives, following John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

The Bushes had been regular fixtures in their adopted hometown of Houston after his presidency, but public appearances became more rare because of health problems as they reached their 90s.

His father, Prescott Bush, the son of an OH steel magnate, made his fortune as an investment banker and later served 10 years as a senator from CT. She died on April 17, 2018.

Ronald Reagan, the former actor and California governor, vanquished him in the Republican primaries but chose Bush as his running mate, hoping Bush's reputation as a moderate would balance his own hard, conservative image.

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At a summit meeting in Malta in December 1989, Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev, his Soviet counterpart, declared an end to the Cold War and talked of a new era of "lasting peace".

The elder Bush said he rejected an overthrow of the Iraqi government because it would have "incurred incalculable human and political costs".

Born on June 12, 1924, "Bush senior" was the oldest living United States ex-president.

The other battles he fought as president, including a war on drugs and a crusade to make American children the best educated in the world, were not so decisively won.

He flew 58 missions off carriers in World War Two and survived being shot down over the Pacific. After he graduated from Yale on an accelerated schedule, the Bushes headed to the oil fields of West Texas. Bush is expected to lie in state in the US Capitol.

He was appointed by President Richard Nixon as ambassador to the United Nations and then, with Nixon embroiled in the Watergate scandal that would lead to his resignation, as chairman of the Republican National Committee, tasked with limiting the damage to the party.

President Bush always found a way to set the bar higher.

He went on to easily defeat Democrat Michael Dukakis that November.

Bush was hospitalized in January 2017 for pneumonia, at which time they had to insert a breathing tube.

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