Former U.S. president George Herbert Walker Bush, the businessman-turned-politician who vowed to propel the country toward “a thousand points of light,” has died at age 94.
Family spokesperson Jim McGrath says Bush died shortly after 10 p.m. CT Friday, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush.
Bush, president from 1989 to 1993 and father to former president George W. Bush, was elected the 41st president after promising to usher in a “kinder, gentler America.”
He also made it a top priority to have good relations with Canada and his friend, then-prime minister Brian Mulroney. On his first trip to Ottawa as president, Bush assured Mulroney he would soon introduce environmental legislation to curb acid rain, paving the way for a bilateral accord with Canada.
Speaking to reporters, the president even offered a little French, welcoming a prompt for a final question with a playful “C’est fine pour moi.”
But, shivering in sub-zero cold, Bush quickly added in English: “It’s colder than hell.”
George Herbert Walker Bush was born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Mass., and raised in Greenwich, Conn.
His father, Prescott Bush, was a Wall Street lawyer and Republican senator.
The future president’s mother, Dorothy, was the daughter of a wealthy Missouri stockbroker.
Bush joined the Second World War effort in 1942, becoming, at age 18, the navy’s youngest pilot. He flew 58 missions over the Pacific Ocean, including one where his plane was shot down by Japanese anti-aircraft fire.
Bush was rescued by a passing U.S. submarine and later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action.
After the war, Bush married Barbara Pierce in January 1945. Barbara Bush died on April 17, 2017, at age 92.
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