After battling illnesses, George H.W. Bush died at 94 years old, a spokesperson confirmed in a statement from the Bush family Friday night. The former American president and father to both President George Bush and former presidential candidate Jeb Bush was hospitalized on and off after his wife Barbara's funeral in April.
George W. Bush released a statement through spokesperson Jim McGrath on Twitter reading, "Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce 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."
Over the past few years, the former president had suffered several intense medical predicaments, including pneumonia, bronchitis, and a broken neck bone. In 2017, Bush was hospitalized after contracting pneumonia while already suffering vascular parkinsonism. People with vascular parkinsonism face difficulty in walking and carrying themselves on their own and as a result of this rare syndrome, Bush had been wheelchair-bound for the past five years. And in 2015, Bush fell at his home in Maine, breaking a bone in his neck. He ultimately recovered.
Bush's death took place several months after his wife, Barbara Bush, passed away at 92. The former First Lady suffered Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and stopped seeking hospital care in April.
At the time, a media representative for the Bush family said, "It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others." George W. Bush also released a statement on his mother's death in April, saying, "Barbara Bush was a fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I'm a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother."
According to Bush's former chief of staff, Jean Becker, George H.W. Bush was devastated by his wife's death. "Obviously, this is a very challenging time. But it will not surprise all of you who know and love him, that he also is being stoic and strong, and is being lifted up by his large and supportive family," Becker said in an official statement.
Becker also said that Bush was "determined to be there for them as well." At Barbara's funeral, Jeb shared a love letter that the senior Bush wrote to his wife as his son called him a "phenomenal letter writer."
Soon after Bush passed away, both politicians and other people on social media extended their condolences to the Bush family on Twitter, remembering the 41st president of the United States.