George Bush, the 41st president of the United States and the father of the 43rd, who steered the nation through a tumultuous period in world affairs but was denied a second term after support for his presidency collapsed under the weight of an economic downturn and his seeming inattention to domestic affairs, died on Friday night at his home in Houston. He was 94.
Mr. Bush, a Republican, was a transitional figure in the White House, where he served from 1989 to 1993, capping a career of more than 40 years in public service. A decorated Navy pilot who was shot down in the Pacific in 1944, he was the last of the World War II generation to occupy the Oval Office.
The elder Mr. Bush entered the White House with one of the most impressive résumés of any president. He had been a two-term congressman from Texas, ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee, United States envoy to China, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and vice president, under Ronald Reagan.
Mr. Bush also negotiated and signed the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act, largely fulfilling a 1988 campaign pledge. Nearly 3,000 people, many in wheelchairs, attended the White House signing. “Let the shameful walls of exclusion finally come tumbling down,” he said.
Supporters of the bill called it the most significant piece of civil rights legislation in two decades. It barred discrimination against people with handicaps in places of public accommodation, transportation and employment, and mandated that many new public and private buildings be made easily accessible to people with disabilities. Similar rules applied to buses and trains.
Environmental groups praised Mr. Bush’s record on climate change and the environment. As president, he signed the United States to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, which lead to the Paris Agreement on a plan to reduce global emissions. Mr. Bush also created the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the federal body that produces a sweeping government climate change report every four years.
The first sitting vice president to be elected to the presidency since 1836, Bush was also only the second person in US history to see his own son follow in his presidential footsteps when George W. Bush was elected in 2000.
In addition to the 43rd president, Bush is survived by his son Jeb, the former Florida governor and 2016 presidential candidate; sons Neil and Marvin; daughter Dorothy; and 17 grandchildren. His daughter Robin died of leukemia as a child, a tragedy that still moved Bush deeply late in his life. He will be buried alongside her and the former first lady at his presidential library in College Station, Texas.
Bush will lie in state at the US Capitol before a memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, with a second memorial service to follow at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston. He will then be taken by a motorcade procession to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, where he will be laid to rest. Specific times and more details will be announced at a later time, according to the statement released by Bush's spokesman Jim McGrath.
THIS IS A COURTESY ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
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