World leaders are paying their respects to former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away in Houston last night at the age of 94.
Bush served as President Ronald Reagan’s Vice President for two terms, then became the 41st President of the United States in 1989, serving a single term. In 2001, he saw his son George W. Bush follow in his footsteps and become President for two terms. Bush’s passing comes 8 months after his wife Barbara’s death.
The news was confirmed by former President George W. Bush and his siblings. Bush called his father “a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for.”
World leaders, including every living President of the United States, have posted their condolences, honoring the former President.
President Trump tweeted hours after news of Bush’s death was confirmed that whenever he was with Bush, he “saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family.”
Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle expressed gratitude for Bush’s decades of service, “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. Ambassador to the United Nations. Director of Central Intelligence. U.S. Envoy to China. Vice President of the United States.”
In a statement, former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn commended Bush’s accomplishments in office.
“Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened by the death of former President George H.W. Bush,” the Carters’ statement said. “His administration was marked by grace, civility and social conscience. Through his Points of Light initiative and other projects, he espoused a uniquely American volunteer spirit, fostering bipartisan support for citizen service and inspiring millions to embrace community volunteerism as a cherished responsibility. We again extend our heartfelt condolences to the Bush family.”
Former President Bill Clinton said he “will always hold our friendship as one of my life’s greatest gifts.”
Leaders from across the world also remembered the former President.
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama offered his condolences to Bush’s children.
“I recall being deeply touched by your father’s concern for the Tibetan people and the situation in Tibet,” he said. “It is truly admirable to have lived over 94 years. While nothing can replace the loss of a father, we can rejoice in the fact that his was a meaningful life, dedicated to public service. I commend your parents for encouraging their children, including you my dear friend, to devote yourselves to the service of others.”
On Twitter, British Prime Minister Theresa May called Bush a “true friend to the UK and the trusted counterpart and confidant of two Prime Ministers.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called Bush a “great statesman and a friend of Germany.” Maas said Bush “courageously seized the opportunity to end the Cold War” and called him “an architect of German unity.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted that Bush was “the embodiment of the values of the United States, standing up for what was right and fighting throughout his life for freedom from tyranny and oppression in any guise.”
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets
- Meet the 2024 Women of the Year
- East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment
- The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap
- Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does
- Column: The New Antisemitism
- The 13 Best New Books to Read in March
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time
Write to Gina Martinez at email@example.com