He was expected to return home well before Christmas but remained hospitalized after the holiday. Officials said he had a high fever and had been placed on a liquids-only diet. In , the former president was admitted to the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist Hospital to "address an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia," according to his office.
George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States, dead at 94
His family has said publicly that the former president was no longer able to walk unassisted, a frustration for a man who enjoyed an active lifestyle of golf, fishing, jogging and power walks on the beach near his summer home in Maine. Full Coverage: President George H. Bush said he did not want age to slow him down. He made a parachute jump from an airplane on his 90th birthday, and celebrated his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays the same way. Bush celebrates his birthday by skydiving. In one of his last interviews, Bush reflected on his life, relishing the love of family and friends.
You must believe in serving others. I think that's a fundamental tenet of my life.
Former President George H.W. Bush dead at 94 - ABC News
He was the second oldest child in a family of four boys and one girl. His parents were Prescott Sheldon Bush, an investment banker who later would serve for 10 years in the U. Senate, and Dorothy Walker Bush. Growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, George H. Bush had a privileged childhood. He attended the exclusive Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. World War II broke out while he was at Phillips. Rather than go on and attend Yale University immediately after prep school, Bush joined the Navy. Having graduated from Phillips Academy six months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Bush soon became the youngest combat aviation officer in the war.
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Bush flew 58 combat missions in the Pacific as a torpedo bomber pilot and once was shot down by the Japanese in For his effort at bringing the plane down and saving most of its crew, Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, Bush entered Yale and graduated in less than three years with a degree in economics.
Nicknamed Poppy, the tall and lanky Bush earned a Phi Beta Kappa key for high academic achievements and played baseball and soccer for Yale. Shortly after leaving the Navy, Bush married Barbara Pierce, who he met at a country club dance when he was 17 and she was They would eventually have six children, one of whom died of leukemia before her fourth birthday.
Two of their sons entered politics: George W. Bush became governor of Texas before winning the election for president, while his younger brother Jeb Bush became governor of Florida. Jeb Bush later ran for president in and dropped out during the Republican primary. Bush moved his growing family to Texas after college, where he formed an independent oil exploration company.
But politics eventually came to be the focus of Bush's life.
He made his first foray as a candidate in with an ambitious but unsuccessful run for the Senate. Two years later, Bush was elected to the U. House of Representatives, where he cast a vote in favor of President Lyndon Johnson's program for open, nondiscriminatory federal housing. The lure of a Senate seat prompted Bush to try again in This time, Bush lost to Democrat Lloyd M.
Bentsen Jr. The two men would square off again 18 years later when Bentsen was the running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis. In the second matchup, Bush was victorious. Following his defeat, Presidents Richard M.
George H.W. Bush, the 41st U.S. president and father of the 43rd, has died at age 94
Nixon and Gerald R. Ford appointed Bush to a variety of high-profile positions: U. Ford also considered naming Bush his vice president but opted instead to give the job to Nelson A. As a consolation, Ford offered Bush his choice of ambassadorial assignments and Bush chose China. Bush left the government in January when Jimmy Carter became president.
In , believing that Carter was vulnerable, Bush began his first campaign for the White House. Despite an early win in the Iowa caucuses, Bush's campaign quickly lost momentum as Reagan overtook him to capture the GOP nomination. During the campaign, Bush described Reagan's plan to increase federal revenues by lowering taxes as "voodoo economics.
Bush's eight years as vice president were spent mostly in the shadows. He headed task forces on stopping the illegal drug trade and reducing federal regulations. Reagan often sent Bush abroad as his representative. Bush set an attendance record at the funerals of foreign leaders, including those of three Soviet leaders. But it was Bush's participation in meetings of the National Security Council that threatened his political career. The Reagan administration secretly carried out the illegal sale of arms to Iran so the proceeds could be funneled to rebels fighting a Marxist government in Nicaragua.
After the Iran-Contra affair was exposed, questions were raised about what Bush knew of the secret program. Suspicions about Bush, however, had no lasting political impact. In , Bush ran to succeed Reagan with two catchphrases. He spoke of creating a "kinder, gentler nation" and he told voters, "Read my lips, no new taxes.
Despite an early challenge from Sen. The choice surprised political analysts, but delighted Democrats, who viewed Quayle as an intellectual lightweight. The Democratic nominee, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, enjoyed a healthy lead in early campaign polls. But Bush waged an aggressive campaign and cast Dukakis as a liberal, a dirty word after eight years of Reagan. Bush easily won the general election with 53 percent of the vote and a wide margin in the electoral college.
As president, Bush's greatest successes were in foreign policy.
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