HOUSTON — Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94.
- Former President George H.W. Bush has died
- The 41st President of the United States was 94
- Funeral will be Wednesday at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
The White House said President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will attend the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C..
The president will also designate Wednesday, December 5 as a National Day of Mourning. Air Force One will take Bush to Washington D.C. for people to pay their respects before being flown back to Texas.
He will be laid to rest Thursday, December 6 on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University. President Bush will be buried in his family plot, located behind the Bush Library, alongside his wife, Barbara, who died seven months ago, and daughter, Robin, who passed away in 1953 at the age of three.
Senator Mitch McConnell released a statement detailing further arrangements for Bush. He will lie in state in the United States Rotunda, says the statement.
A bicameral arrival ceremony will be held for Bush on December 3 at 5 p.m., according to the statement. The announcement also says the public is invited to pay their respects from December 3 at 7:30 p.m. until December 5 at 7 a.m.
Family spokesperson Jim McGrath released the news of his passing Friday evening.
Mr. Bush was in and out of the hospital during the past year, suffering from complications from pneumonia.
The 41st President of the United States called Texas home in the years before his presidency and during his life after his single term as Commander in Chief, but he was born a New Englander in Milton, Massachusetts on June 12, 1924.
Long before one of his sons, George W. Bush, became governor of Texas and later president himself, the family patriarch was simply known as George Bush. The decorated Navy pilot was shot down and rescued in the South Pacific in September of 1944. After a stint in the oil industry, the Yale graduate began his public service career in 1963 when he was elected chairman of the Harris County, Texas, Republican Party.
"I'm conservative, but I'm not a nut about it."
Three years later, George H.W. Bush was elected to Congress. He would eventually become the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., chairman of the Republican National Committee, ambassador to China, and director of the CIA. George H.W. Bush ran an unexpectedly strong campaign for president in 1980 against eventual nominee Ronald Reagan, who picked his rival to be his running mate. In 1988, Bush became the first sitting vice president elected to the presidency since 1837.
Though Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, President Bush signed several bills into law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act. Notably, the Berlin Wall fell during his tenure. But it was when President Bush ordered U.S. troops to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 that he was at the height of his popularity.
“One of the good things about the way the Gulf War ended in 1991 is, you'd see the Vietnam veterans marching with the Gulf War veterans."
Despite loss of mobility, Bush celebrated his 90th birthday by making a tandem parachute jump in Kennebunkport, Maine. Three days after his 92nd birthday celebration, President Bush led a group of 40 wounded warriors on a fishing trip at the helm of his speedboat. In 2017, along with his wife Barbara, he performed the coin toss for Super Bowl LI. Mrs. Bush died the following year on April 17, 2018.
In a letter about the former first lady, Mr. Bush wrote:
"You have given me joy that few men know. I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara's husband."
The former president was an active presence in his later years, forging a special bond with former President Bill Clinton, attending state functions, and appearing in public at Houston Astros games during their World Series run in 2017.
About his country, Bush once said:
"If anyone tells you that America's best days are behind her, they're looking the wrong way."