For­mer US pres­i­dent led ac­tion in the Gulf

Ge­orge HW Bush, a Sec­ond World War vet­eran, took charge of his coun­try af­ter the Cold War

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Obituaries -

GE­ORGE HW Bush, who has died aged 94, will go down in his­tory as the pres­i­dent in charge at the end of the Cold War who took the United States into the first Gulf con­flict.

He was elected as the 41st pres­i­dent in 1988 and served a sin­gle term be­fore los­ing his 1992 re-elec­tion bid to Demo­crat Bill Clin­ton.

Months into his pres­i­dency he was faced with the dis­so­lu­tion of the Soviet Union and he over­saw the re­moval of Pana­ma­nian dic­ta­tor Manuel Nor­iega.

In Au­gust 1990, he re­sponded to Sad­dam Hus­sein’s in­va­sion of Kuwait, cre­at­ing a na­tional coali­tion led by the US that lib­er­ated the oil­rich, yet tiny, na­tion, but stopped short of top­pling the Iraqi dic­ta­tor.

It was dur­ing the pres­i­dency of his son, Ge­orge W Bush, that Sad­dam’s rule would even­tu­ally end.

Bush Snr, a Sec­ond World War vet­eran, was born Ge­orge Her­bert Walker Bush in Mil­ton, Mas­sachusetts, on June 12, 1924.

He en­listed on his 18th birth­day and was the youngest pilot in the US Navy when he re­ceived his wings and went on to fly 58 com­bat mis­sions.

One saw him shot down by Ja­panese anti-air­craft fire over the Pacif- ic, leav­ing him to be res­cued by a US sub­ma­rine.

He was later awarded the Dis­tin­guished Fly­ing Cross for brav­ery in ac­tion.

In Jan­uary 1945, he mar­ried Bar­bara Pierce, with whom he went on to have six chil­dren – Ge­orge, Robin (who died as a child), John (also known as Jeb), Neil, Marvin and Dorothy.

His po­lit­i­cal ca­reer saw him oc­cupy a num­ber of po­si­tions, in­clud­ing con­gress­man, CIA di­rec­tor and Ronald Rea­gan’s vice pres­i­dent for the Repub­li­can Party be­fore be­com­ing the first mem­ber of the Bush po­lit­i­cal fam­ily to reach the na­tion’s top of­fice.

Ge­orge W Bush would go on to be elected pres­i­dent in 2000 af­ter Mr Clin­ton and served two terms.

Jeb – a for­mer Florida gover­nor – made an un­suc­cess­ful bid for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion in 2016.

Only one other US pres­i­dent, John Adams, had a son who also be­came pres­i­dent.

In 2011, Bush was hon­oured with the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

In his later years, he de­vel­oped a form of Parkin­son’s dis­ease and used a mo­torised scooter or a wheel­chair for mo­bil­ity.

Bush was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal in Maine in 2015 af­ter fall­ing at his sum­mer home and break­ing a bone in his neck.

He was taken to hos­pi­tal the pre­vi­ous De­cem­ber be­cause of short­ness of breath and spent Christ­mas 2012 in in­ten­sive care for a bron­chi­tis­re­lated cough and other is­sues.

De­spite the loss of mo­bil­ity, Bush cel­e­brated his 90th birth­day by tak­ing part in a tan­dem para­chute jump in Ken­neb­unkport, Maine.

Two years on and Bush led a group of 40 in­jured vet­er­ans on a fish­ing trip at the helm of his speed­boat, three days af­ter his 92nd birth­day cel­e­bra­tion.

In Jan­uary 2017, his of­fice an­nounced that he and his wife would not at­tend Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion due to the for­mer pres­i­dent’s age and health.

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