George H.W. Bush

31 1992 US President George Bush speaks 01 November 1992 to a large group of supporters during a campaign stop at the Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut. J. DAVID AKE  AFP

31 1992 US President George Bush speaks 01 November 1992 to a large group of supporters during a campaign stop at the Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut. J. DAVID AKE AFP

George Herbert Walker Bush, America's 41st president, has died.

Camera IconThis file photo provided by Office of George H.W. Bush shows a photo of former President George H.W. Bush that was tweeted on Friday, June 1, 2018, from his hospital bed while reading a book about himself and his late wife in Biddeford, Maine.

The couple had four sons - Neil, Marvin, the future president George W. and the presidential candidate and Florida governor Jeb - and two daughters, Dorothy and Robin, who died at age 3.

"Not only was George H.W. Bush one of the greatest presidents in our nation's history, he also was one of the finest men to serve our country in so many ways".

"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.

President Donald Trump, who was in Argentina attending a G20 summit of world leaders, hailed Bush's "sound judgment, common sense, and unflappable leadership". It was perhaps the high point of Bush's presidency, his approval rating among US voters reaching a record 89 percent, with a fireworks display lighting the night-time sky over Washington to salute the successful mission.

The Bushes had been regular fixtures in their adopted hometown of Houston after his presidency, but public appearances became more rare because of health problems as they reached their 90s.

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As he accepted the Republican Party's nomination for president in 1988, Bush pleaded for a "kinder, gentler nation". Later in life, he rose to the pinnacle of American politics as a Congressman from Texas, envoy to China, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President of eight years to President Ronald Reagan, and finally President of the United States. He carried 40 states and achieved a almost 7 million-vote plurality, becoming the first sitting vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1836.

"When we are successful - and we will be - we have a real chance at this new world order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the UN's founders".

Bush did not endorse fellow Republican Trump, the eventual victor of the 2016 presidential election, who attacked both Jeb and George W. Bush during his campaign.

Bush faced a serious challenge when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.

The other battles he fought as president, including a war on drugs and a crusade to make American children the best educated in the world, were not so decisively won. It was the longest marriage among any USA presidential couples.

They added: "Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight - and all who were inspired by George and Barbara's example". "She's now buried here at the library", Finch said.

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