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Former US President George H.W. Bush passes away

In August 1990, after Iraqi troops under dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, President Bush forged a coalition of 32 countries to restore Kuwaiti sovereignty and upheld the international law. Subsequently, he convened the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, bringing Israel and Arab neighbours together in face-to-face discussions for the first time in history.

Dec 1, 2018 14:12 IST
Former US President George H.W. Bush passes away

George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States who helped steer America through the end of the Cold War, passed away on November 30, 2018. He was 94. He is survived by four sons namely George W Bush, Jeb, Neil and Marvin and a daughter Dorothy Bush LeBlond.

President Bush was suffering from Parkinson's disease that forced him to use a wheelchair in recent years, and he had been in and out of hospitals in recent months as his health declined.

Earlier, he was admitted to a hospital with a blood infection on April 23, 2018, one day after the funeral of his wife Barbara Bush, and remained there for 13 days.

George HW Bush's role in steering America through the end of the Cold War

  • President Bush worked with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and other key global figures to end the Cold War peacefully.
  • In August 1990, after Iraqi troops under dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, President Bush forged a coalition of 32 countries to restore Kuwaiti sovereignty and upheld the international law.
  • Subsequently, he convened the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, bringing Israel and Arab neighbours together in face-to-face discussions for the first time in history.

George Herbert Walker Bush: A glance through his life

• George HW Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts into a wealthy New England political dynasty.

• After turning 18, Bush graduated from Phillips Academy Andover and enlisted in the Navy, just six months after the Japanese attacked the Pearl Harbour.

• Within a year of joining the US Navy, he received his wings and officer's commission and was believed to be the Navy's youngest pilot.

• When World War II was at its peak, Bush flew torpedo bombers off the USS San Jacinto. In September 1944, his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire while he was on a bombing run in the Pacific and was later rescued by a submarine.

• After the war, Bush married Barbara Pierce in 1945 and graduated in 1948 with a degree in economics from Yale.

• Bush had first gotten involved in politics as chairman of the Harris County Republican Party in Houston.

• He lost his first political campaign for a Senate seat in 1964, but he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1966.

• He was re-elected in 1968 and then lost a second campaign for the Senate in 1970.

• Later, the then US President Richard Nixon appointed Bush as the Ambassador to the United Nations.

• After Nixon resigned from office, President Gerald Ford named Bush as the Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in China and then as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

• In 1980, Ronald Reagan selected Bush as the Vice President.

• After eight years of serving as Vice President, he was elected as the 41st President of the US on November 8, 1988. He was sworn in on January 20, 1989, and served until January 20, 1993.

• During his presidential term, he saw various revolutionary events such as the collapse of the Soviet Union; the end of the Cold War; the Berlin Wall fell; and Germany united within NATO following 45 years of post-war division.

• President Bush also reduced the threat of nuclear attack by signing two Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties in 1991 and 1993, and negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1992  which later became a law.

Interesting fact

President Bush was informally known as "41" after his son George W. Bush was elected as the president.