President George H. W. Bush passed away at age 94 Friday, November 30. His son, George W. Bush, announced his father's death in a statement.

"Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died."

 

 

George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States whose long life in the public sphere was defined by service to his country, has died. He was 94.

His wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, died in April and Mr. Bush was hospitalized the day after the funeral to be treated treated for an infection in his bloodstream. He suffered a number of health issues in his later years, including vascular parkinsonism, a condition similar to Parkinson's disease, and used a wheelchair to get around.

On June 12, 2018, Mr. Bush celebrated his 94th birthday with family members in Kennebunkport, Maine, becoming the first U.S. president in history to reach that age.

"I see history as a book with many pages, and each day we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning," he said in his 1989 inauguration speech.

For Bush, the first chapter of that book began in Milton, Mass., on June 12, 1924.

His was an elite world of private schools and public lives. For the son of Prescott Bush, a successful banker-turned-Republican senator, the sky was the limit -- and he took to it.

On his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the Navy, becoming the youngest fighter pilot in World War II.

He flew 58 combat missions, including one that nearly ended his life.

"He was on a bombing mission about 600 miles south of Japan," said historian Douglas Brinkley, "when he was shot down and it went into the sea. And it's a great moment for his life of heroism, September 3, 1944."

"I knew that if something didn't pick me up, I would be captured," Bush said.

He returned from war with a Distinguished Flying Cross and a bright political future.

A year later, he was hard at work at Yale University and courting the young woman he met at a Christmas dance.

In January 1945, he married Barbara Pierce. They said it was love at first sight.

"I think he's the wisest, smartest, most decent, caring person I know, and I think he's the handsomest thing I ever laid my eyes on," Barbara Bush once said.

Together they left the East Coast and headed south to Texas, where both the oil business and a family were booming.

Together George and Barbara had six children. Robin, their first daughter, died in 1953 of leukemia. She was not yet 4 years old.

"It had a profound effect on me," Mr. Bush recalled. "And I think that horrible incident drew us even closer together."

Six years later, another daughter, Dorothy, was born, joining sons George W., John Ellis (known as Jeb), Neil, and Marvin. It also marked a rebirth for Bush as well, as he embarked on a new career in politics.

The East Coast moderate would have mixed success with Texas conservatives. He won two terms in Congress and lost two Senate races. But his journey would ultimately bring him to Washington.

He served Presidents Nixon and Ford in a host of high-level positions: U.N. ambassador, head of the Republican Party, envoy to China, and director of the CIA.