Former US President George H.W. Bush has died

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He was elected as the 41st President in 1988 and served a single term before losing his 1992 re-election bid to Democrat Bill Clinton.

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In his rise to the presidency, Bush held a variety of key positions over the years, often deemed by Republican presidents as the most qualified man in US public life.

His pronouncement soon proved prophetic, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union occurring early in his presidency.

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George Bush Sr, as he was known, passed away on Friday evening, a statement said on behalf of the family. The family also thanked those who cared for and prayed for their beloved dad in recent days. In 2013, he was in dire enough shape with bronchitis that former President George W. Bush, his son, solicited ideas for a eulogy.

He was also chosen to serve as vice president to President Ronald Reagan from 1981 until 1989. Bush Sr. was the first vice president to be elected to the presidency since 1836, and also the second person in United States history whose son was able to become president after his father.

Bush was married for 73 years to the former Barbara Pierce, a woman he met in his teenage years.

In his later years he developed a form of Parkinson's disease and used a motorised scooter or a wheelchair for mobility.

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As one of his first major decisions, Bush chose to remove Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega - a former United States ally turned worldwide drug lord - from power.

Bush faced a serious challenge when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Despite his achievements beyond the U.S. border, Bush was less successful back home.

He lost his bid for re-election to Bill Clinton in a campaign in which businessman H. Ross Perot took nearly 19 percent of the vote as an independent candidate.

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Mr Bush was the longest-lived president in USA history with no other president having lived as long. Bush's representatives released a statement at the time, saying that he occasionally "patted women's rears in what he meant to be a good-natured manner". "But I see history as a book with many pages, and each day we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning". "And so, today a chapter begins, a small and stately story of unity, diversity, and generosity - shared, and written, together".