Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Former President George H.W. Bush passes away following the death of his beloved wife.
By Meg Taylor, News Editor
George H.W. Bush passed away Friday night at his home in Houston surrounded by family.
The 41st president of the United States’ passing follows the death of his wife, Barbara Bush, back in April. He was diagnosed with vascular Parkinsonism in 2012; a form of Parkinson’s that affects the legs. The disease left him unable to walk, using a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around during the last few years of his life.
“Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro and I are saddened to announced that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” his son, George W. Bush said in a statement released Friday night.
“George H.W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire 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,” the statement read.
Bush entered office with a vast experience. He was the son of a senator, a celebrated World War II combat pilot, Texas oil pioneer, Republican congressman, national party chairman, pioneering diplomat and CIA chief. Bush served two terms as Ronald Reagan’s vice president before reaching the peak of political power by winning the 1988 presidential election.
Signing landmark pieces of legislation, such as the first improvements to the Clean Air Act as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act, are highlights from Bush’s presidency. One of the most iconic moments during Bush’s presidency was the proclamation of the phrase, “Read my lips. No new taxes.” This was in regards to the 1990 budget deal, which sought to address deepening deficits by raising taxes on the wealthy. However, this notable moment resulted in Bush not being elected for a second term, due to breaking the promise by increasing taxes.
The honors graduate of Yale University had a free-spirited side lasting into his later years. Escaping death during World War II may be the root of the new attitude he adopted. Starting at 80, Bush started skydiving. Bush wanted to share this fearless nature with the world.
“I want the people — American people— to understand that just ‘cos you’re old, that doesn’t mean you can’t do things in life,” said Bush in an interview with Colin Powell. “And I hope it inspires other people to get out the front door and mow the lawn or go out and play shuffleboard.”
Bush led a tremendous life through service. Serving as president and vice-president, a father and grandfather, a humanitarian and sportsman, among other ventures of public service that affected many people across the country. Americans worldwide are celebrating the life of and mourning the loss of the lifelong politician. Along with Bush’s family, politicians of all parties are acknowledging the unfortunate passing.
“America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude,” tweeted former president Barack Obama. “Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example.”