Leadership

George HW Bush, 41st US President, Passes Away At 94

The resilient President is most remembered for leading the United Nations of America through a chaotic period of world crisis
Entrepreneur Staff
Features Writer
5 min read

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Former US President George Herbert Walker Bush, the exemplary leader who served his country with a whole heart for over 70 years, has passed away at the age of 94 in Houston on November 30, 2018. The exemplary public servant performed various roles through his glorified career, from decorated naval aviator to a commander-in-chief of US Armed Forces among many others.

The resilient President, however, is most remembered for leading the United Nations of America through the chaotic period of world crisis. His contribution in ending the 4-decade long Cold War despite the tattered Soviet Union and assisting Kuwait in ejecting Iraqi forces from their land in 1990 proved his acumen in foreign policy.

He might not have got a second chance at presidency due to his lack of domestic initiatives, Bush is widely respected playing a crucial role in the making America the global superpower. The patriarch of Bush political tribe will be buried alongside his late daughter, Pauline Robinson ‘Robin’ Bush, who died of leukaemia as a child and his wife, Barbara, who passed away on April this year at his presidential library in College Station, Texas.

A Legacy That Created History

Born to a senator, Senior Prescott Bush and Dorothy Bush on June 12, 1924, George Bush Senior had a legacy of serving the nation. At merely 18 years, he became the youngest naval pilot and flew 58 combat missions. During the Pacific War, the young flyboy claimed the Distinguished Flying Cross. The brave officer almost witnessed his end in September 1944 as his plane’s cockpit caught fire during a raid, two of his crew members are still missing.

Recognizing his heroism, the Navy had named a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier after him. Bush later attended Yale University where he met his wife Barbara Pierce, now Bush, and set himself up as an early Texas oil prospector. He didn’t get into politics until the mid-60s when he ran for the US Senate but unfortunately lost. However, he did reserve himself a seat in the House of Representatives in 1966.

Later came many roles as an envoy to the United Nations, head of the Republican National Committee during the Watergate scandal, the US Liaison Office in Beijing, CIA. In 1980, he ran for President against former California Governor Ronald Reagan but lost. President Reagan then handed him over the Vice-president position, which Bush served for 2 terms before running for President again in 1988.

As Reagan got ready to leave the office in 1989, Bush was the ideal choice to fill in his shoes. While running for the position, what worked both in and against his favour was the famous “Read my Lips” line followed by the pledge of “No New Taxes”, he took during the 1988 Republican National Convention. As Bush was forced to renege on his promise, Americans were left dissatisfied but still voted for him.

His son George W Bush followed his father’s footsteps & served as America’s 43rd President. His other son Jeb has also played his fair share of political roles. The former Florida governor had given Trump a tough fight in the 2016 presidential elections.

Bidding Farewell to the Legend

As the news of Bush’s death was confirmed by his family, social media was flooded with condolences and praises for the former President by those who knew him. The former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, 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.”

It further added, “Not merely for the years he spent as our 41st 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.”

His rival-turned-friend Bill Clinton, to whom Bush lost the race 1993 Presidential Elections took the moment to express his gratefulness towards each moment he spent with the great man. He wrote, “Hillary and I mourn the passing of President George H. W. Bush, and give thanks for his great long life of service, love and friendship. I am grateful for every minute I spent with him and will always hold our friendship as one of my life’s greatest gifts.”

President Donald Trump also mourned the loss of Bush. He pushed a joint statement with the first lady Melania Trump on Twitter which read, “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.”

Bush is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two siblings. His son George W Bush expressed his family’s sorrow in the words, “Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. George HW Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for.”

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