George H.W. Bush – the upper-crust war hero-turned-oilman and diplomat who steered America through the end of the Cold War as president and led a political dynasty that saw his son win the White House – died 30 November 2018. He was 94.
George W. Bush called his father a “man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for,” in a statement announcing his death. The 41st American president was a foreign policy realist who navigated the turbulent but largely peaceful fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 and assembled an unprecedented coalition to defeat Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein two years later.
George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts into a wealthy New England political dynasty – the son of Prescott Bush, a successful banker and US senator for Connecticut. Bush had a pampered upbringing and attended the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, but delayed his acceptance to Yale in order to enlist in the US Navy on his 18th birthday and head off to war
But the decorated war pilot and former CIA chief suffered the ignominy of being a one-term president, denied a second term over a weak economy when he lost the 1992 election to upstart Democrat Bill Clinton. His favoring of stability and international consensus stands in sharp contrast to the provocative bluster of fellow Republican and current White House occupant Donald Trump, a man whom Bush did not vote for in 2016.