George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, whose long life in the public sphere was defined…
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 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.
His son, former President George W. Bush, issued a statement calling his father “A man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The whole Bush family is deeply grateful for 41
‘s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens. ”
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 every day we fill in a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning,” he said in his 1989 inauguration speech.
Mr. . Bush was born in Milton, Mass., On June 12, 1924. 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 almost 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. “
He returned from war with a Distinguished Flying Cross. A year later, he was 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. George and Barbara had six children. Robin, their first daughter, died in 1953 or 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 Mr. Bush as well, as he embarked on a 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.
J. Scott Apple White / AP
He served President 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.
After a contentious 1980 primary season and a failed bid for the presidential nomination, Mr. Bush’s opponent, Ronald Reagan, surprised the party by choosing Mr. Bush as his running mate.
“When you read Ronald Reagan’s diaries,” said Brinkley, “you’ll get to see how much he relied on George Bush. And when Reagan left after two terms, he was very much for George Herbert Walker Bush becomes his successor. “
In a speech acceptance of the 1988 Republican presidential nomination, Mr. Bush described America as a nation of communities, “A brilliant diversity, spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”
The former fighter pilot waged a fierce battle against Democratic challenger Michael Dukakis and won .
As the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush was inheriting a rapidly changing world. The Berlin Wall had fallen; The communist empire was disintegrating; and in Panama, American troops rooted out a corrupt regime, overthrowing Manuel Noriega’s government.
But the battle with Saddam Hussein had just begun. When Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait, President Bush assembled a global coalition, carrying an air and ground campaign known as Operation Desert Storm. Kuwait was liberated in just six weeks. President Bush did not order U.S. troops to press on two Baghdad, fearing a long war.
“George Herbert Walker Bush was the finest foreign policy president of the United States after Harry Truman. And I do not say that lightly,” said the historian Brinkley.  ap-9101290329.jpg “srcset =” https://cbsnews3.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2018/12/01/3785918f-64ac-45ee-8aa7-1f3cddb55c78/resize/620x/d1c73bdee2de6a741070e2d38b92c47f/ap- 9101290329.jpg 1x “/>
AP Photo / Ron Edmonds
On the campaign trail for reelection in 1992, Bush would face one but two opponents: Democrat Bill Clinton and Independent Ross Perot, who would hammer home the notion that Bush was out of touch with the problems of everyday Americans.
“Read my lips … no new taxes,” Mr. Bush famously promised as he accepted the presidential nomination in 1988.
Four years later, that promise would come back to haunt him. He did, in fact, raise taxes, infuriating the base of the Republican party – the Reagan Conservatives who never quite trusted the East Coast Ivy Leaguer.
“I could not do what Ronald Reagan, my friend and predecessor, had done so well – communicate effectively with the people, “Bush said in an interview. “And that was my biggest shortcoming.”
After leaving the White House after one term, Mr. Bush forged a friendship with the man who defeated him in 1992, former President Bill Clinton. The two raised millions for victims of Hurricane Katrina and a devastating tsunami in southeast Asia.
“People say now that they can not tell the difference between me and President Bush anymore and, oh yes you can. I’m the one who has more gray hair,” Clinton joked. Bush’s son George would serve as the 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. Men hans arvade er ikke makt, men for service.
“Han kunne enkelt have valgt et liv for komfort og privilegium, og i stedet for, da han tilbød en chance for at tjene, han grep det,” President Barack Obama said of him in 2009, marking the 20th anniversary of Bush’s Points of Light initiative. “Det er den ekstraordinære ripple effekten som en livsstil, levd humbly, med kærlighed for ens land, og i service til ens medborgere, kan have. Må vi hver især stræbe efter at gøre den slags of difference with our own lives. “