Washington – Former US president George HW Bush died Friday at age 94, his spokesman Jim McGrath confirmed.
His son, George W Bush, who served as president from 2001-2009, also confirmed his father’s death and said in a statement he was “a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for.”
Bush had been in frail health for years, and his death followed that of his wife of 73 years, Barbara, who died in April at age 92.
No information about the circumstances of his death was immediately available.
US President Donald Trump, who is currently attending the G20 leaders’ summit in Argentina, praised the former president’s “essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country.”
“With sound judgement, common sense, and unflappable leadership, president Bush guided our nation, and the world, to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War,” Trump said in a statement.
Former President Barack Obama said the US had “lost a patriot and humble servant” in Bush and his life was “a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling.”
George Herbert Walker Bush, a Republican, served as president from 1989 to 1993, during which time he led the US amid major global events including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Under his watch, the United States invaded Panama in 1989 to depose military dictator Manuel Noriega. Two years later it launched a massive campaign to expel Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War.
Bush was an aviator during World War II and flew 58 combat missions and was shot down over the Pacific, an experience that earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross.