George H W Bush, 94, has died – family say

He served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993.

Family spokesman Jim McGrath said Mr Bush died shortly after 10pm on Friday.

His son, George W Bush, issued a statement Friday following his father’s death.

“Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died.

“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,” he said, referring to his father’s nickname.

The longest living president in US history, one of his biggest achievements was steering America through the end of the Cold War.

A brief but deep recession saw the popularity he gained from his diplomatic win evaporate, costing him a second term in office. He was succeeded by Democrat Bill Clinton.

His death comes less than eight months after his wife Barbara died. They had been married for 73 years.

The day after her death, Mr Bush was hospitalised with a blood infection. He continued to suffer with ill health during the following months.

George Bush Sr was visited by former president Barack Obama two days ago, according to the family’s spokesman.

“President @GeorgeHWBush was very pleased to receive President @BarackObama this afternoon during his visit to #Houston. The two had a very pleasant and private visit at the Bush residence, where they rekindled what was already a very warm friendship,” Jim McGrath tweeted.

As news of the statesman’s death broke, the Obama’s issued a statement, saying: “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.

“Not merely for the years he spent as our forty-first President, but for the more than 70 years he spent in devoted service to the country he loved – from a decorated Naval aviator who nearly gave his life in World War II, to commander-in-chief of our Armed Forces, with plenty of posts along the way.”

They added: “Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example.”

Mr Bush had vascular parkinsonism, a form of Parkinson’s disease, and used a wheelchair or motorised scooter for the last six years.

Mr Bush served as the 43rd vice president of the United States from 1981 to 1989.

Serving in the Second World War as a Navy pilot, he was shot down in the Pacific in 1994.

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

His son, George W Bush, became the 43rd president of the United States.

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