ATLANTA - People across the Atlanta metro and the country are mourning the loss of our country’s 41st president.
His death was announced by his family Friday night on Twitter. The president's health had been in decline in recent months.
"George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings," the former president's office said in a statement. "He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline "Robin" Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or "Bucky" Bush."
BREAKING: Statement from George W. Bush on passing of his father: "Our dear Dad has died. George H. W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for." https://t.co/9TuAyz8Wef pic.twitter.com/UrThLwFUYQ— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) December 1, 2018
Former president Jimmy Carter released the following statement to Channel 2 Action News:
"Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened by the death of former President George H.W. Bush. His administration was marked by grace, civility, and social conscience. Through his Points of Light initiative and other projects, he espoused a uniquely American volunteer spirit, fostering bipartisan support for citizen service and inspiring millions to embrace community volunteerism as a cherished responsibility. We again extend our heartfelt condolences to the Bush family."
President Bush was the first sitting vice president to ascend to the presidency since 1837, and he was also only the second American president to serve a full term without party control in either chamber of Congress.
Born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, Bush became a decorated Navy pilot who flew torpedo bombers during World War II.
He was shot down while flying over the island of Chi Chi Jima but was quickly rescued.
It was while he was enlisted that he first met Barbara Bush, then a student at Smith College. The couple were married in Jan. 6, 1945, making theirs the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history.
Statement from President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on the Passing of Former President George H.W. Bush pic.twitter.com/qxPsp4Ggs7— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2018
After the war, Bush went to Yale University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1948 with a degree in economics.
Soon after graduating, he and Barbara moved to Texas, where Bush began making a mark in the oil industry.
Following in the footsteps of his father, U.S. Sen. Prescott Bush (R-Connecticut), George H. W. Bush launched a career in politics in 1963 when he was elected chairman of the Harris County, Texas, Republican Party.
In 1966, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served two terms representing Texas’ 7th Congressional District.
NEW: Naval Aviation "mourns the passing of our 41st President, George H.W. Bush, a Naval Aviator, statesman, and humble public servant. His legacy lives on in those who don the cloth of our great nation and in the mighty warship which bears his name." https://t.co/DKl83MR7bn pic.twitter.com/22PZ9i5yuK— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2018
Bush held a number of senior-level positions in the government, including U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee, chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in China and director of central intelligence before becoming vice president of the United States under President Ronald Reagan, taking office in January 1981 and serving two terms.
Following his term as vice president, Bush won the presidency in November 1988. He was sworn in as president of the United States in January 1989 and served until January 1993.
Under his presidency, the world saw the end of the Cold War, the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the Berlin Wall fell – reuniting West and East Germany -- and he put together a coalition of 32 nations to liberate Kuwait.
JUST IN: Barack Obama on passing of George H. W. Bush: "America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude.” https://t.co/zJgIpQZjfq pic.twitter.com/oWprpSvNvO— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2018
Among the laws Bush signed into effect were the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act — landmark civil rights and environmental legislation. He also successfully negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was later signed into law.
George and Barbara Bush have five children, 24 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Their eldest son, George W. Bush, was sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States in 2001, serving two terms.
Their son Jeb served as governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007.
Since leaving office, Bush helped to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for a charity, Points of Light. He also took an active role in The George Herbert Walker Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, both located on the campus of Texas A&M University. And he was the honorary chair of the Points of Light board of directors, which his son Neil chairs.
[PHOTOS: Barbara Bush through the years]
At the request of President George W. Bush, President Bush worked with President Bill Clinton to help raise funds to aid in the relief efforts following the catastrophic tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast states.
In 2006, he also served as U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy for the South Asia earthquake.
JUST IN: Bill Clinton: "I am profoundly grateful for every minute I spent with President Bush and will always hold our friendship as one of my life’s greatest gifts." https://t.co/acpiAxGyji pic.twitter.com/L7VazyoH1v— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2018
Following the destruction caused by Hurricane Ike on the Gulf Coast in September of 2008, President Bush again joined with President Clinton to form the Bush-Clinton Gulf Coast Recovery Fund to aid in the reconstruction of Gulf Coast infrastructure.
The family said funeral arrangements would be announced "as soon as is practical."
Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital with a blood infection on April 22 -- two days after the funeral for his wife of 73 years, former first lady Barbara Bush.
He is survived by his five children, including former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Bush was with his wife when she died at the age of 92 on April 17.
Information for this article from ABC News and the George Herbert Walker Bush Presidential Library.
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