George H.W. Bush dies at 94

George H.W. Bush dies at 94

Former US president George HW Bush, who helped steer America through the end of the Cold War, is dead, his family announced late Friday.

George H W Bush, the former United States president and father of George W Bush, has died aged 94, his family have said.

"George H W Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for".

Barbara first met George Snr when she was 17 years old and they married in January 1945, when she was 19.

Bush - who was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts into a wealthy New England political dynasty - put his inevitable political career on hold to join the US Navy during World War II.

George Herbert Walker Bush served just one term as USA president, but few occupants of the Oval Office could have felt history shifting so sharply under their feet. His failed 1980 presidential ended in his tenure as Reagan's vice president.

After losing the White House in 1992, Bush became a widely admired political elder who leapt out of airplanes to mark birthday milestones.

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George H.W. Bush paired his profound sense of personal responsibility with honesty, gentility, and hard work. He made two unsuccessful runs for Senate, but would later serve in various political capacities - including as the USA ambassador the United Nations, Republican National Committee chair, and Central Intelligence Agency director.

However, the former leader suffered from a form of Parkinson's disease that forced him to use a wheelchair or motorised scooter in recent years, and he had been in and out of hospitals during that time as his health declined.

The high points of Bush's presidency included the end of the Cold War, a decisive victory over Saddam's Iraqi army in 1991, along with the soaring popularity it won him at home, and progress on Middle East peace.

Obama also highlighted Bush's "diplomatic hand" which allowed to expand "America's promise to new immigrants and people with disabilities; reducing the scourge of nuclear weapons and building a broad global coalition to expel a dictator from Kuwait; and ending the Cold War".

Bush was the last of an unbroken 40-year line of presidents who had served in uniform during World War II, starting with Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former supreme Allied commander. He was succeeded by Democrat Bill Clinton. "On behalf of Texas, Cecilia and I offer our thoughts and prayers to the Bush family in their time of need".

Inside the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum in College Station, some of Bush's greatest treasures can be found, including 44 million pages of documents, 2 million photographs, thousands of sound and video recordings and 100,000 artifacts.