"Hearts Are Heavy": Obama, Donald Trump Pay Tributes To George HW Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush died shortly after 10 p.m. Friday about eight months after the death of his wife Barbara Bush

George H W Bush, the former U.S. president and father of George W Bush, has died aged 94, his family have said. "From his service in World War II as a naval aviator to his efforts organizing worldwide disaster relief, the nation and world will never forget his years of public service".

But Bush was on the field in November 2017 as his eldest son, who served as the nation's 43rd president, tossed out the first ball at one of the Houston Astros' World Series games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Only one other USA president, John Adams, had a son who also became president.

In August 2015, Trump tweeted a dig at the presidency of George H.W. Bush, writing: "The last thing we need is another Bush in the White House".

Emphasizing the generosity of his soul, he forged a close and unlikely friendship with Democrat Bill Clinton, the man who ended his presidency. After losing a campaign for the Senate in 1970, Bush was appointed to a series of high-level political positions: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Bush's longtime spokesman, Jim McGrath, said the former aviator, oilman, ambassador, Central Intelligence Agency director and vice president died at 10:10 p.m. He was released a few days later and celebrated his birthday on June 12 - making history by becoming the first former president to reach the age of 94.

Born into privilege and a tradition of service, Bush was a son of a senator, celebrated World War II combat pilot, student athlete, Texas oilman, Republican congressman, national party chairman, pioneering diplomat and spy chief.

"He was shot down by the Japanese bombing a radio tower on an island called (Tijima)", Warren Finch, director at the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum, said.

Former President George H.W. Bush listens to the national anthem with Airmen from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in 2006
Former President George H.W. Bush listens to the national anthem with Airmen from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in 2006

Born on June 12, 1924, "Bush senior" was the oldest living United States ex-president.

The importance of building up relationships was an ethos Bush brought not only to domestic politics, but also to global affairs, which became his major focus as president.

"After seventy-three years of marriage, George and Barbara Bush are together again now, two points of light that never dimmed, two points of light that ignited countless others with their example", the former United States president said.

But he was the respected patriarch of a blue-blood political dynasty - son George spent eight years in the White House, and son Jeb served as governor of Florida.

Bush lost a chance for a second term after breaking a no-new-taxes pledge.

His death has come less than eight months after that of his wife, Barbara. "Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight - and all who were inspired by George and Barbara's example".

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