George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States has died aged 94.
His son, George W. Bush confirmed the news in a statement on Friday night in the US, describing his father as a man of “the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for”.
“Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” the statement read.
“George H. W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens.”
The former World War II naval pilot’s death comes just seven months after his beloved wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, died aged 92.
The Bush children described the pair as deeply in love until the very end, and at their mother’s funeral Jeb Bush read out a portion from one of the many love letters Bush Senior sent his wife over the years.
In the letter, given to Barbara on their anniversary in 1994, George wrote: “Will you marry me? Oops, I forgot, we did that 49 years ago. I was very happy on that day in 1945, but I’m even happier today. You have given me joy that few men know … I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”
The former military man spent most of his life serving in public office having led the CIA and spent eight years as vice president before taking the Oval Office in 1988.
On his 94th birthday this year, on June 12, his office shared an open letter from the president that read: “My heart is full on the first day of my 95th year.”
“As many of you know, for years I have said the three most important things in life are faith, family and friends. My faith has never been stronger.”
He is survived by his five children and 17 grandchildren. His daughter Robin died of leukemia as a child, and according to CNN, he will be buried alongside her and the former first lady at his presidential library in College Station, Texas.