Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

"Hearts Are Heavy": Obama, Donald Trump Pay Tributes To George HW Bush

Former US president George Bush senior, who steered America through the end of the Cold War, died Friday at age 94, his family have announced.

He was the father of former President George W. Bush, who served two terms in the White House during the 2000s, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who unsuccessfully sought the 2016 Republican nomination for president.

The 41st American president was a foreign policy realist who navigated the turbulent but largely peaceful fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 and assembled an unprecedented coalition to defeat Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein two years later.

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 politician also served as a congressman, ambassador and director of Central Intelligence.

At Bush clan gatherings, the two reputedly referred to each other as "Forty-one" and "Forty-three", referencing their respective numbers in the sequence of USA presidents.

George Herbert Walker Bush was many things, including only the second American to see his son follow him into the nation's highest office.

In this file photo taken on July 15, 2013 Former US President George H.W. Bush applauds during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Pic credit George Bush Presidential Library.

Mr Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, had six children and were married for 73 years - the longest presidential marriage in USA history.

Clinton, who defeated Bush in the 1992 presidential election, says he was always struck by Bush's "innate and genuine decency" and by his devotion to his wife Barbara and his family.

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"After seventy-three years of marriage, George and Barbara Bush are together again now, two points of light that never dimmed, two points of light that ignited countless others with their example".

The former president, who served as a US naval aviator during World War Two, had attended his wife's funeral in Houston in a wheelchair and wore a pair of colorful socks festooned with books, in honor of his late wife's commitment to literacy.

George H.W. Bush was an American hero and icon, he was a friend to all he met, he embodied class and dignity.

There were tributes from both sides of the political aisle to Bush, who was president from 1989 to 1993 and lived longer than any of his predecessors.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Bush enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his 18th birthday and became the youngest aviator in the U.S. Navy at the time.

George Snr was the patriarch of one of America's most formidable political dynasties.

Mrs Bush died in April 2018.

He flew 58 combat missions and was shot down over the Pacific by Japanese anti-aircraft fire.

As president, Bush launched the "Points of Light" initiative to promote volunteerism and community service across the country.

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