George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, whose long life in public was determined by serving his country, has died. He was 94 years old.
His 73-year-old wife, Barbara Bush, died in April, and Mr. Bush was hospitalized on the day after the funeral to seek treatment for an infection in his bloodstream. In his later years, he suffered from a range of health problems, including Parkinson's disease, a condition similar to Parkinson's disease, and used a wheelchair to get around.
His son, former President George W. Bush, made a statement calling his father "A man of the highest order and the best father a son or daughter could ask for." The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for the life and love of 41
On June 12, 2018, Bush celebrated his 94th anniversary. Birthday with family members in Kennebunkport, Maine. He became the first US president in history to reach this age. "I see history as a book with many pages, and every day we fill a page with acts of hope and meaning," he said in his opening speech of 1989.
Born into privilege, then to life
Mr. Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts. On his 18th birthday, he joined the Navy and became the youngest fighter pilot in World War II. He flew 58 combat missions, including one that nearly ended his life.
"He was in a bombing mission about 600 miles south of Japan," said historian Douglas Brinkley, "when he was shot down and went into the sea, and it's a great moment for his heroic life, September 3, 1944 . "
He returned from the war with a Distinguished Flying Cross. A year later, he was at Yale University and applied to 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 smartest, smartest, most decent and caring person I know, and I think he's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," Barbara Bush once said. They left the east coast and headed south to Texas. George and Barbara had six children. Robin, her first daughter, died of leukemia in 1953. She was not yet four years old.
"It had a profound effect on me," Mr. Bush recalls. "And I think that terrible incident pulled us even closer."
Six years later, another daughter, Dorothy, was born, who came to sons George W., John Ellis (known as Jeb), Neil, and Marvin , It was also a rebirth for Mr. Bush when he started a career in politics. In Congress, he won two terms and lost two Senate races. But his journey would eventually lead him to Washington. Bush Victory Rally "srcset =" https://cbsnews2.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2018/12/01/13360d45-4d68-4675-bcb4-3a1204077f92/resize/620x/2f610b48ca242eca6403295f8ed2d1c3/ap-8811080186.jpg 1x "/>
J. Scott Applewhite / AP
J. Scott Applewhite / AP
He served Nixon and Ford in a number of senior positions: UN Ambassador, Republican Party Leader, China Envoy, and CIA Director.
After a contentious 1980 season and failed bid For the presidential nomination, Mr. Bush's opponent, Ronald Reagan, surprised the party by selecting Bush as his runner-up.
"If you read Ronald Reagan's diaries," Brinkley said, "you'll see how much he relied on George Bush, and when Reagan left after two terms, he was very much in favor of George Herbert Walker Bush becoming his successor . "
In a speech in which he accepted the Republican election of 1988, Bush referred to the US as a nation of communes," A brilliant diversity that spreads like stars, like a thousand points of light in a wide and peaceful sky . "
Former fighter pilot fiercely fought Democratic challenger Michael Dukakis and won the 41st place President of the United States, Geor Herbert Walker Bush inherited a rapidly changing world. The Berlin Wall had fallen; the communist empire disintegrated; In Panama, American troops have rooted a corrupt regime and overthrew the government of Manuel Noriega.
But the fight with Saddam Hussein had just begun. As Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait, President Bush assembled a global coalition and conducted an air and ground campaign as Operation Desert Storm. Kuwait was released in just six weeks. President Bush has not ordered US troops to push to Baghdad for fear of a long war.
"George Herbert Walker Bush was the best foreign policy president the United States had after Harry Truman, and I'm not saying that," said historian Brinkley.
Yet, many Americans were worried and the economy would be a huge challenge to his leadership.
On the campaign for re-election in 1992, Bush would face not only an opponent, but his opponent Bill Clinton and Independent Ross Perot, who memorized the idea that Bush was not in contact with the Americans' problems of everyday life ,
"Read my lips … no new taxes," promised Bush when he accepted the presidential candidacy in 1988. 19659002] Four years later, this promise would haunt him again. He actually levied taxes and infuriated the base of the Republican Party – the Reagan Conservatives who have never quite trusted Ivy Leaguer on the East Coast.
"I could not do what my friend and predecessor Ronald Reagan had done so well – communicate effectively with people," Bush said in an interview. "And that was my biggest drawback."
After the White House
After leaving the White House after a term in office, he became friends with the man who defeated him in 1992, former President Bill Clinton. The two gathered millions for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and a devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia.
"People are saying now that they can not tell the difference between me and President Bush and, oh yes, you can, I'm the one with more gray hair," Clinton joked.
Mr. Bush's son George served as governor of Texas and two terms as president, while another son, Jeb, became the first Republican governor of Florida to serve two full terms.
George Herbert Walker Bush was the patriarch of a political dynasty. But his legacy is not of power but of service.
"He could easily have chosen a life of comfort and privilege, and instead he used it again and again when offered an opportunity to serve," Barack Obama said of him in 2009 on the occasion of the 20-year-old Existence of Bush's "Points of Light" initiative. "Think for a minute about the effects he has had, that is the extraordinary effect that a life that has lived humbly, with the love of his country and in the service of the fellow citizens, may have strive to achieve that kind of life from our own lives. "