George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States who called for a gentler, kinder vision yet whose one term tenure in the oval office could be described as nothing short of a roller coaster ride; from guiding his country towards the end of the cold war to spearheading troops during the Gulf War, has passed away on Friday, the 30th of November 2018. Mr Bush, who was 94 at the time of his passing, died at his home in Houston. His death was announced by a family spokesperson, Jim Mcgrath, through Twitter and is followed by a statement by his son, former president George W. Bush on behalf of the Bush family.

“Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, 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” the statement read.

Mr Bush suffered from vascular parkinsonism that forced him to use a motorised scooter or a wheelchair for mobility and has been seeking constant medical treatment to aid his declining health. This past year, in particular, has been challenging as he had been hospitalised several times — he was admitted to a Houston hospital in early April after contracting an infection that had spread in his blood the day after his wife’s funeral and shortly afterwards, was hospitalised again in May at a hospital in Maine due to low blood pressure and fatigue.

Mr Bush continued to maintain a positive outlook and showed his witty and adventurous character to the public

Despite the tug-of-war with his physical condition, Mr Bush continued to maintain a positive outlook and showed his witty and adventurous character to the public, reportedly saying that he was “more looking forward to the Minnesota Timberwolves playoffs against the Houston Rockettes than anything that landed him in the hospital”, and even went as far as to go tandem skydiving despite his physical condition on his 90th birthday.

Mr Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts on the 12th of June 1924 to Prescott and Dorothy Bush. He was raised in an affluent family that found fortune in the oil business. At 18, he rebelled against his parents and enlisted in the navy during world war II and become the youngest Navy pilot at the time. While in the navy, on leave, he married his sweetheart, Barbara Bush. He and his wife went on to have six children; George W., Robin, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy Bush. A big family man, Mr. Bush has always prided himself to be “Barbara’s Husband” before any other title and his son, Jeb Bush, said that his father’s love for his work is only “rivalled by the love for his family”.

Mr Bush is a skilled bureaucratic republican who has cemented his position as one of the most dedicated public servants in the history of the United States throughout his 40-year long political career. A rebellious and celebrated navy pilot who fought in world war II, Mr Bush had a long list of experience before making it in the oval office. That list includes being the U.S representative for Texas’ 7th district (1967-1971), Ambassador to the United Nations (1971-1972), Chairman of the Republican National Committee (1973-1974), Chief of the United States liaison office in China (1974-1975) and Director of the CIA (1976-1977). He ran, unsuccessfully, for office as president in 1980 before being sworn in as the running mate of former president Ronald Reagan and served as his right-hand man for two terms before being nicknamed as President Bush “41”.

Since leaving Office, however, Mr. Bush’s reputation has taken an upturn

His presidency has not been an easy one. Due to large financial deficits, he had to set up new tax rules that contradict his own mission of “No New Taxes” causing him to be blamed for the nation’s economic recession, furthermore, he was criticized for not being relatable enough to regular citizens. Despite his accomplishments in leading his country into a new era of foreign political relations, these setbacks failed to earn him his second term as President. Since leaving Office, however, Mr. Bush’s reputation has taken an upturn unlike his son’s.

Over the years, there is a general consensus amongst the people that Mr Bush’s actions were done for the greater good of his people and country. More and more people are beginning to realise that his actions are of consequence and is done with and for a reason. His experience and unwavering force during such an unsteady time had held the nation together. His pragmatism and modesty-which many people mistook as submissiveness- that were once used to criticise his actions are now seen in a different light.

Mark Updegrove, the director of the Lyndon B.Johnson Library, mentioned that Mr Bush is one of the most “revered and underrated living presidents”. His leadership alone is enough to show many that he has utilised his skills and scruples confidently when the occasion calls for it without making a spectacle in front of the public. Former President Barack Obama, himself, noted that Mr Bush’s legacy is a “service that may never be matched”, and incumbent president, Donald Trump stated that Mr Bush has inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service” to be “a thousand points of light” that will light up greatness and hope in the next generations of Americans.

He and his wife raised one of the most illustrious and successful political families in history

George H.W. Bush is a prominent political and public figure who never stopped living a life of service and takes pride in what he does. He and his wife raised one of the most illustrious and successful political families in history and also raised charities such as the ‘Points of light’ organisation and the ‘Barbara Bush Foundation’ that has greatly furthered their cause of empowering the people. Together they have built a lasting legacy that will continue to grow for many generations; a force to be reckoned with before and in the afterlife. Even to the very end, his final request is for all the living presidents that have come before and after him attend his funeral in a single moment of civil union. He has led an exemplary life that many strive to follow and has achieved so much with grace, dignity, and respect. May his legacy continue to illuminate a thousand points of light.

 

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