President George H.W. Bush died Friday evening at the age of 94 — ending his reign as the longest living president in history.
"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,” read a statement by President George W. Bush on the death of his father.
A World War II veteran, Bush flew 58 combat missions on the Pacific front after becoming the Navy’s youngest pilot. He earned his economics degree at Yale University before making millions in the West Texas oil industry.
He ran unsuccessfully for the Senate seat but ultimately served two terms as a Texas representative and subsequent appointments as Ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee throughout the Watergate scandal, chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in China, and CIA director.
Commander In Chief
In 1989, he succeeded Ronald Reagan as president after first conceding the 1980 Republican primary and serving two terms as Reagan’s vice president, where he was tasked with deregulation and spearheading the War on Drugs.
The 41st president of the U.S. had aspired to leverage American power as “a force for good” during a tumultuous time in global politics. The Bush Administration aided in the overthrow of Panama’s corrupt regime and the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq, and it presided over the fall of the Berlin Wall and dissolution of the Soviet Union.
One of Bush’s most defining legacies was his signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which wasn’t officially ratified until after his term ended.
He failed to win reelection amid domestic economic struggles, surges in deficit spending, and rising inner-city violence.
The Bush Administration saw the rise of the World Wide Web, the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, the end of the Cold War and dissolution of Russia, and the L.A. riots over police brutality.
“Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service—to be, in his words, 'a thousand points of light' illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world,” read a statement from U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.
President Trump will designate Wednesday, Dec. 5 as a National Day Of Mourning. U.S. stock markets will be closed for trading that day.
Photo credit: AJ Guel, via Wikimedia Commons
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