From WWII hero to president, remembering the life of George H.W. Bush


Former President George H. W. Bush — a World War II hero, distinguished public servant and patriarch of an American political dynasty — died on Friday. He was 94.

Bush’s death was announced in a statement by his office that said he passed in Houston at 11 p.m. New York time.

“He was more than a great man; he was a good man,” Bush’s grandson George P. Bush wrote on Twitter. “His courage was matched by his compassion; and his dedication to country was equaled only by his devotion to his family.”

After serving as a two-term vice president under President Ronald Reagan, Bush led the nation as America’s 41st president from 1989 to 1993.

During his presidential term, Bush presided over the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and marshaled a diverse coalition of nations to fight Iraq after dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

Bush famously said the Iraqi aggression “will not stand.”

Bush’s son, George W. Bush, became the nation’s 43rd president, making them only the second father and son to hold the office, along with John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

Another of Bush’s sons, Jeb, served as governor of Florida and made an unsuccessful run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, who died last April at age 92, had four other children — Dorothy, Neil, Marvin and Robin, who died from leukemia when she was just 3.

George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12, 1924, to a wealthy and politically active family in Milton, Mass.

The son of Connecticut Sen. Prescott Bush and Dorothy (Walker) Bush, George attended the elite boarding school Phillips Academy. He graduated at 18 and that same day enlisted, becoming the youngest pilot in the Navy during World War II.

He flew a torpedo bomber and flew 58 missions in the Pacific theater. He named his Avenger plane “Barbara.”

During one bombing run in 1944, Bush’s plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Despite his plane’s engine being in flames, Bush managed to release his bombs over the target. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in World War II.

Shortly after returning from war, Bush tied the knot with Barbara Pierce on Jan. 6, 1945.

He enrolled at Yale University, where he was the baseball team captain. The slick-fielding first baseman led Yale to runner-up finishes in the first two College World Series, in 1947 and 1948.

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