(CBSDFW.COM) – George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the U.S., will be remembered as a historical figure who was loved across the nation, especially in the state he called home.
Bush passed away late Friday evening at the age of 94 in Houston.
Not only was Bush president, but he was also the father of the 43rd president and former Texas Governor George W. Bush.
The well-respected elder Bush was also the first sitting vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1837. He had an impressive resume going into and during his presidency.
World events shaped Bush’s presidency. The Soviet Union collapsed. The Berlin Wall came down. And he led a worldwide coalition and war against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
SMU Professor Jeffrey Engel wrote in his book, “When The World Seemed New,” that the elder Bush helped prevent the world from melting down at the end of the Cold War.
While President Bush had what may be the highest presidential approval rating ever at 89 percent, it still couldn’t guarantee him re-election. In 1992, he lost to then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.
“I’m very grateful to all of you. It’s been a wonderful four years. Nobody can take that away from any of us. It’s been good and strong, and I think we’ve really contributed, and maybe history will record it that way,” he said as he left office.
Before he was president, Mr. Bush served as vice president under President Ronald Reagan for eight years. In 1984, the duo accepted the Republican nomination during their convention at the Hotel Anatole in Dallas.
Much of Bush’s life was also dedicated to public service. At the age of 18, he fought in World War II and became the youngest Navy pilot.
After fighting, he then graduated from Yale University and moved to Texas in 1948. It was a place he called home until he passed away.
Bush and his wife, Barbara, settled in Midland where they started their family. Before going into politics, he went into the oil business and struck it rich.
The couple’s oldest son, George W., later became governor of Texas and then president.
The elder Bush ended his political career in the Lone Star State. He opened his presidential library at Texas A&M in College Station.
“More important to me is how these records will serve to educate future generation of Americans its government faced,” he said during the library’s opening.
And then there was Bush’s lighter side. After losing re-election, he welcomed comedian Dana Carvey, whose imitation of the president was a popular skit on Saturday Night Live, to the White House.
Bush also loved skydiving so much that it became a staple on his birthday as he entered his 90s. He went skydiving for his 90th birthday.
After George W. became president, the elder Bush loved their new nicknames as “Bush 41 and 43.”
Bush Sr. was also known for his “Thousand Points of Light” — a call for volunteerism.
President Barack Obama awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Former President George W. Bush also wrote a book about his father in “41, A Portrait Of My Father.”
Although the elder Bush had been hospitalized in recent years, he still made public appearances to huge, loving crowds.
At the Super Bowl in Houston in 2017, he took part in the coin toss. He even threw out the first pitch during one of the Astros’ World Series games.
The elder Bush will be laid to rest at his presidential library in College Station next to his wife Barbara.
George H.W. Bush was widely respected and admired well after he left office.