WASHINGTON – Congressional leaders Saturday morning paid tribute to former President George H.W. Bush.
“George H.W. Bush was a man for all seasons. He was great in his impact, making the world safer and freer. He was great in his character, leading with decency and integrity. A war hero and statesman, the country is inspired by his example,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement.
George H.W. Bush’s life was defined by an inspiring commitment to public service. I am deeply grateful to his family for having shared such a wonderful man with us all. May it be a comfort to them to know that so many Americans mourn with them. https://t.co/6pNXNXWIDo pic.twitter.com/UNqaopgPJT
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 1, 2018
Elaine and I join the Senate and the nation in grieving the loss of President George H. W. Bush pic.twitter.com/lmTWl9RTpq
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 1, 2018
President George HW Bush will be greatly missed in many ways. He was a fine man and even when he opposed your views, you knew he was doing what he thought was best for America. His yearning for a kinder and gentler nation seems more needed now than when he first called for it.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 1, 2018
Bush died Friday evening at age 94. He had been in declining health for the past couple of years and was frequently in and out of the hospital.
Bush served as America’s 41st president. He occupied the Oval Office from 1989-93.
During his tenure Eastern bloc nations gained independence, the Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union collapsed and the U.S. led an international coalition that drove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.
Prior to being elected president Bush served as Vice President for eight years under Ronald Reagan. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to United Nations, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and as a member of Congress.
Bush’s defeat at the hands of Bill Clinton in the 1992 Presidential Election did not prevent he and Clinton from working together on humanitarian issues.
In 2010, at the request of then-President Barack Obama, the former presidents came to together to assist Haitian earthquake victims.
The non-profit Clinton Bush Haiti Fund raised more than $54 million from charities, businesses and individuals to help rebuild the island.
Both Clinton and Obama thanked for Bush for his service to the nation.
Hillary and I mourn the passing of President George H. W. Bush, and give thanks for his great long life of service, love and friendship. I am grateful for every minute I spent with him and will always hold our friendship as one of my life’s greatest gifts. https://t.co/1CYdrIeKmz
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) December 1, 2018
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. Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example. pic.twitter.com/g9OUPu2pjY
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 1, 2018
H.W.’s son, George W. Bush, succeeded Clinton in office.
W. defeated Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore, in one of the most contentious races in U.S. history. Gore won the popular vote but narrowly lost the Electoral College.
During W’s two terms in office his father is said to have served as a frequent informal advisor.
Bush is survived by four children, 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Bush’s wife of 73 years, former First Lady Barbara Bush, died in April.
Funeral plans for the former president have not yet been announced.
Fox reported that Bush is expected to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda next week.