HOUSTON, TX (KCBD) - Former President George H. W. Bush has died. The 41st President, who served the nation’s highest office from 1989-1993, was 94.
His wife Barbara died in April at the age of 92 at their Houston home.
Bush, a former West Texas oilman who lived in both Midland and Odessa, was also the father of 43rd President George W. Bush and grandfather of Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
Prior to becoming President, Bush served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Houston’s 7th Congressional District before becoming Ambassador to the United Nations and director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He became Ronald Reagan’s Vice President following the 1980 election, serving in that office until his own election in 1988.
Jim McGrath, the former president’s spokesman, released a statement announcing the news:
A short time later the younger Bush’s office released a statement via Twitter:
The elder Bush’s presidential library is located at Texas A&M in College Station. That university’s School of Government & Public Service also bears his name.
The library’s website can be found at bush41.org.
Lauro Cavazos, Bush’s first secretary of education and the first Hispanic to serve on a presidential cabinet, said Bush was an outstanding educator who focused greatly on the education of the country.
“With the passing of President George H. W, the nation has lost an outstanding educator. Early in this campaign for President he stated he wanted to be known as ‘The Education President.’ He kept his word,” Cavazos wrote to KCBD NewsChannel 11. “Together , he and I convened the first ‘Education Summit,’ we focused the nation’s attention on improving the education of minorities and enhancing the student loan program. These were only a few education efforts that occurred during President Bush’s time in office. As Secretary of Education I knew I could go to him and his office door was always open to me.”
As a person who served the public for most of his life, Bush had a commitment to the people he served in the past. Morris Wilkes, a Lubbock native who served on George W. Bush’s staff, said his loyalty was always towards others.
Wilkes saw this on display during an airplane ride to Houston after he left office in the early 90s. While talking to each other throughout most of the flight, Wilkes noticed the former president suddenly fell silent and began staring out the window of the plane.
“He then looked and me and noticed I was kind of studying his face and he said, ‘I’m thinking about my crewmates.’ The two individuals that didn’t make it out of the plane when he was shot down in WWII. He said, ‘I think about them every day.’" Wilkes said. "That was a very moving and personal moment and something that was very meaningful to me.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.