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George H.W. Bush dead at 94

George HW Bush, who as the 41st president shepherded the US through a turbulent period in global relations that included the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, has died. He was 94.

A statement from his office said: “George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings. He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline Robinson ‘Robin’ Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or ‘Bucky’ Bush. Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as is practical.”

George W Bush issued a statement on behalf of his family: “Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. George HW 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.”

A statement from Donald Trump praised Bush for his “sound judgment, common sense and unflappable leadership”.

A moderate conservative who served a single term in office between 1989 and 1993, Bush lacked the charisma or polarising ideology of his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, under whom he had served as vice-president.

But he was widely respected for showing a steady hand during an uncertain moment in history during which the Berlin Wall came down, Soviet-sponsored communism in eastern Europe collapsed and the US emerged as the single global superpower.

Bush will inevitably be remembered, too, as the patriarch of the Bush political tribe, one of the most successful political dynasties in America. The 41st president was father to George W Bush, the 43rd, and Jeb Bush, who ran unsuccessfully against Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

In January 1991, Bush launched a US-led military offensive in the Persian Gulf to counter Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait that began the previous year. The swift military offensive, which quickly defeated Saddam’s forces, stands in contrast to his son’s protracted war in Iraq more than a decade later, an eight-year engagement widely considered to be a major foreign policy blunder.

President Bush did leave two significant legislative marks: the Clean Air Act Amendments, signed into law in 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which Bush made law in the same year.

He is survived by his five children, 14 grand-children and four great-grand-children.

The former president Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, issued a statement saying: “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 41st 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.”