George H.W. Bush Death Friday Brings Stream Of Tributes

Former president George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, died Friday night at 94. This comes seven months after the loss of his wife of 73 years, Barbara, who passed away in April this year.

Bush served his country in some capacity for more than half a century, from his time as a naval aviator to CIA director, foreign ambassador and eventually vice president and president. His likeability transcended generations and party lines, and when the news of his death hit late in the Texas evening on Nov. 30, 2018, world leaders, American leaders and even those in Texas didn't hesitate on sending their heartfelt condolences.

Of course, it started with the Bush family, who had a statement sent out by the late Bush's longtime spokesman, Jim McGrath:

"Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened 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 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."

Get your unlimited Newsweek trial >

Former president Barack Obama sent this statement not long after the announcement:

"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. Not merely for the years he spent as our forty-first President, but for the more than 70 years he spent in devoted service to the country he loved – from a decorated Naval aviator who nearly gave his life in World War II, to Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces, with plenty of posts along the way. Ambassador to the United Nations. Director of Central Intelligence. U.S. Envoy to China. Vice President of the United States.

George H.W. Bush's life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. And he did tremendous good along the journey. Expanding America's promise to new immigrants and people with disabilities. Reducing the scourge of nuclear weapons and building a broad international coalition to expel a dictator from Kuwait. And when democratic revolutions bloomed across Eastern Europe, it was his steady, diplomatic hand that made possible an achievement once thought anything but – ending the Cold War without firing a shot.

It's a legacy of service that may never be matched, even though he'd want all of us to try.

Get your unlimited Newsweek trial >

After seventy-three years of marriage, George and Barbara Bush are together again now, two points of light that never dimmed, two points of light that ignited countless others with their example – the example of a man who, even after commanding the world's mightiest military, once said "I got more of a kick out of being one of the founders of the YMCA in Midland, Texas back in 1952 than almost anything I've done."

What a testament to the qualities that make this country great. Service to others. Commitment to leaving behind something better. Sacrifice in the name of lifting this country closer to its founding ideals. Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara's example.

Current president Donald Trump was right there with a statement:

Bush's oldest son, George Walker Bush, otherwise known as Bush 43, wrote in the book '41: A Portrait of My Father' when he thought his father was dying after a hospitalization for a nasty cough appeared to have the elder Bush down. Bush 43 recalled having to perhaps write a eulogy, only to see his father battle back.

George H.W. Bush continued to live in his Houston home in the ritzy River Oaks area, but he maintained solid channels of communications from all leaders, even Houston Mayor sylvester Turner, who sent this message:

"Statement by Mayor Sylvester Turner on the death of President George H.W. Bush:

"George H.W. Bush served with valor and integrity as the 41st president of the United States. But to Houstonians he was one of our most esteemed and relatable neighbors. He and his wife Barbara Bush were our sports teams' biggest fans, and boosters for everything Houston. The Bushes could have moved anywhere after his time in public office, but they chose to return to their beloved city where he started his political career as the chair of the Harris County Republican Party.

"In statesman-like fashion, he knew the importance of reaching across the aisle to find common ground. He backed our bid to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. He was an equal ally of former election for President Bill Clinton in helping victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma through the One America Appeal. And I will always be grateful to the Bushes for being kind friends and advisers to me.

"For these reasons and more, I join Houstonians in mourning the death of George Herbert Walker Bush and expressing heartfelt condolences to his children and the rest of the Bush family. May we never forget his service to our country, his call for all of us to be a light to the world, and his loving spirit."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who recently won reelection, said "Texas mourns the loss of one of our greatest Presidents. George H.W. Bush was an American hero and icon, he was a friend to all he met, he embodied class and dignity. On behalf of the Lone Star State, Cecilia and I offer our thoughts and prayers to the entire Bush family."

Former San Antonio Democrat Mayor and former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro noted:

"President George Herbert Walker Bush lived an admirable life of service to country. He made a positive impact on the lives of so many Americans. May he Rest In Peace."

George H.W. Bush Death Friday Brings Stream Of Tributes | U.S.