George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, a man who helped bring on the end of the Cold War and who led the United States into the first Gulf War, died Friday, a spokesman said.
He was 94.
Bush also served as Vice President of the United States under Ronald Reagan, and was a?congressman, an ambassador, and?Director of Central Intelligence. He was the father of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States.
Away from the Oval Office, Bush was a man of tremendous energy, as well as a sportsman and a sports fan.
He was also one of the best athletes ever to serve in the Oval Office. A left-handed first baseman, he played in the first two College World Series on the Yale baseball team. In 1947, his Elis earned their way to the World Series by beating a Fordham team that included outfielder Vin Scully. (Yale lost to Cal in 1947 and USC in 1948.)
Bush, captain of the 1948 team, kept his old Yale baseball glove in an Oval Office desk drawer during his four years in the White House. When asked what he learned playing baseball at Yale, Bush said, "The importance of teamwork, and working hard together towards a common goal."
Bush always continued his connection with the national pastime, with a special affinity for the Texas Rangers, once owned George W. On Oct. 28, 2017, the two former presidents opened Game 5 of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Astros in Houston, with George W. throwing out the first pitch and George H.W. doing "Play Ball" honors. A National College Baseball Hall of Fame facility in Lubbock, Texas, was named after the elder Bush.
Golf is also a major part of the Bush legacy. The Walker Cup trophy was donated by, and named after, his grandfather, who headed the USGA. The President served as chair of the First Tee program for youth golf and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011 under the Lifetime Achievement category. He played the game with flair, often speeding about the links near Walker's Point, his vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Bush retained his adventurous spirit throughout his life. Despite suffering from vascular Parkinsonism, Bush celebrated his 90th birthday with a parachute jump from a helicopter near his home in Kennebunkport. As a wartime Navy pilot, he was once forced to parachute for his life in enemy waters, so he celebrated landmark birthdays -- including his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays -- by skydiving.
Most recently, he threw out the ceremonial coin toss before Super Bowl LI in Houston between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons.
After graduating from?Phillips Academy?in 1942, Bush became a?naval aviator?at the age of 18. He flew 58 combat missions,?for which he received the?Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, he got an accelerated degree at Yale and on graduation moved to Texas, where his oil business made him a millionaire.
In 1966, Bush was elected U.S. representative for the 7th district of Texas.?After stints as United Nations ambassador, envoy to China and CIA director, Bush was Ronald Reagan's vice president for two terms and then won the 1988 presidential race.
Foreign affairs were the hallmark of Bush's presidency. He oversaw the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and on January 16, 1991, he?announced the start of Operation Desert Storm. That military operation was a response to then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, its mission to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait. ?Coalition forces swiftly drove Iraq from Kuwait, advancing into Iraq, and reaching a cease-fire within 100 hours.
In 1992, he lost his bid for a second term to Bill Clinton, with economic problems at home, not foreign affairs, the central issue.
In 2005, Bush started the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund with President Clinton, and on Feb. 15, 2011, received the?Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.