Former US President George HW Bush Dies Aged 94

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American politicians on both sides of the aisle early Saturday mourned the death of former president George H.W. Bush and praised his lifetime of service and his legacy.

George Snr - nicknamed "41" to distinguish himself from his son, "43" - was the 41st President of the United States. He was the son of a senator from CT and the daughter of a wealthy investment banker.

He enlisted on his 18th birthday and was the youngest pilot in the US Navy when he received his wings and went on to fly 58 combat missions. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery.

Barbara first met George Snr when she was 17 years old and they married in January 1945, when she was 19. They had four sons, George, Jeb, Neil and Marvin, and two daughters, Robin and Dorothy.

Following World War II, he enrolled at Yale University, where his first son, George W., was born. Ambassador to the United Nations.

The elder Mr Bush, the son of a senator, rose through the political ranks: from congressman to United Nations ambassador, Republican Party chairman to envoy to China, CIA director to two-term vice president under the hugely popular Ronald Reagan.

He added that Mr Bush's extensive record of public service was rare, with his years in the military, in U.S. congress, the United Nations, China, the Central Intelligence Agency and as vice president and president.

Former President George H.W. Bush listens to the national anthem with Airmen from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in 2006
Former President George H.W. Bush listens to the national anthem with Airmen from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in 2006

"I have spoken of "a thousand points of light" of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the nation, doing good", he reiterated in his inaugural address. Michael Dukakis of MA after a hard-fought campaign that painted Dukakis as soft on crime and promised tax relief for all.

But Bush faced new worldwide challenges, as well. Reducing the scourge of nuclear weapons and building a broad global coalition to expel a dictator from Kuwait. But Bush would acknowledge that he had trouble articulating "the vision thing", and he was haunted by his decision to break a stern, solemn vow he made to voters: "Read my lips".

Domestically, however, the economy stalled and Bush broke his pledge not to raise taxes in order to reach a budget deal with Democrats - a cardinal sin in the eyes of Republicans.

Bush always "became very, very emotional whenever he talked about the military", says Chriss Winston, his chief White House speechwriter.

Referring to his dislike for a particular vegetable, he once said, "I do not like broccoli". His wife of 73 years passed away in April.

"While President Bush has recovered from pneumonia, he continues to deal with the effects of chronic bronchitis, which is a condition more prevalent with age", Doerr said at the time, according to ABC News.

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