George Bush Senior dies at the age of 94

George Bush Senior dies at the age of 94

He said he and Melania "join with a grieving nation to mourn the loss of former President George HW Bush".

Former US President Barack Obama says America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush.

The senior Bush had a lifetime of public service before he became president - as a young Navy pilot in World War II, Texas congressman, Central Intelligence Agency director and faithful vice president to Ronald Reagan.

Bush served as the vice president of the United States under Ronald Reagan from 1981 until 1989.

He was a World War Two aviator and Texan oil tycoon before entering politics in 1964 as a Republican.

The 1991 Gulf War stoked his popularity.

Thousands of U.S. troops were sent into Panama and the country's leader, Manuel Noriega, was arrested on drug trafficking charges and extradited to the United States to face trial. He also set the groundwork for the North American Free Trade Agreement.

However, once in office, he reneged on that promise and raised several taxes in an attempt to reduce the national budget deficit in a compromise deal with Congressional Democrats.

The elder Bush's cautious realpolitik would later be contrasted to his son's far more costly ambition to transform the Middle East, but "Bush 41" refused to weigh in on the debate, insisting he was proud of the presidency of "Bush 43".

In his rise to the presidency, Bush held a variety of key positions over the years, often deemed by Republican presidents as the most qualified man in USA public life.

After retiring from public life, the late Bush joined his successor, Bill Clinton, in raising funds for victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami and the 2010 Haiti natural disaster.

Another son, Jeb - a former Florida governor - made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in 2016. Bush Sr. was the first vice president to be elected to the presidency since 1836, and also the second person in USA history whose son was able to become president after his father.

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