Former US president George Herbert Walker Bush has died aged 94.
Bush, the 41st president of the United States, who lived longer than any of his predecessors and possessed one of the most impressive resumes in American political history, died peacefully at his home in Houston.
His death at 10.10 pm local time (4.10am UK) was first announced in a brief statement issued by longtime spokesman Jim McGrath, who said funeral arrangements had yet to be scheduled.
Bush, who was the country’s oldest living ex-president, served a single term in the Oval Office from 1989 through 1993.
He presided over the end of the Cold War and routed Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army but lost a chance for a second term after breaking a no-new-taxes pledge.
He is the father of former Republican President George W. Bush, who served two terms from 2001 through 2009, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who unsuccessfully sought the 2016 Republican nomination for president.
His son, George W Bush, described his father as a “man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for”.
In a statement, he added: “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.”
Former President Barack Obama said: “America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush.
“While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude. Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example.”
In a statement, he added: “George HW Bush’s life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. And he did tremendous good along the journey… It’s a legacy of service that may never be matched, even though he’d want all of us to try.”
President Donald Trump paid tribute in a statement to his predecessor’s “essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family and country.”
Trump added that Bush “inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service – to be, in his words, ‘a thousand points of light’ illuminating the greatness, hope and opportunity of America to the world.”