Photos: George H.W. Bush through the years

Photos: George H.W. Bush through the years
  • The son of an investment banker and U.S. senator, George Herbert Walker Bush grew to become an accomplished Navy pilot, oil executive, and served as both the vice president and 41st president of the United States.

    George H.W. Bush in 1980.


    George Rose/Getty Images

  • Bush was born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, to a wealthy and politically active family. The second oldest of five children born to Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush, George H.W. is pictured with his sister Mercy in 1929.

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  • In 1948, Bush graduated from Yale, in less than three years, with a degree in economics. He is pictured here in his baseball uniform at the university.

    George Bush Presidential Library/MCT via Getty Images

  • Shortly after leaving the Navy, Bush married Barbara Pierce, whom he’d met at a country club dance when he was 17 and she was 16. They had six children, one of whom died of leukemia before her fourth birthday.

    Corbis via Getty Images

  • Following his graduation from high school and the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bush enlisted in the Navy, flying 58 combat missions as a torpedo bomber pilot during WWII. Shot down by the Japanese in 1944, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

    Consolidated via AP Photos

  • The couple moved to Texas in 1964, where before entering politics Bush made a fortune drilling oil. He won the Republican primary runoff in an election against oilman Jack Cox for a U.S. Senate seat from Texas, but lost in the primary. Two years later, he won a seat in the House.

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  • His career in politics took another turn when President Richard Nixon appointed him as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 1971. He later served as liaison to China under President Gerald Ford.

    Bush is pictured with his wife, Barbara, in Beijing in 1974.

    AFP/Getty Images

  • In 1976, Bush was sworn in as the Director of the CIA. From left, Minister of Justice Baxter Stewart, Barbara Bush, CIA Vice Director Vernon Walters and President Gerald Ford.

    AFP/Getty Images

  • Republican presidential hopefuls Ronald Reagan, John Anderson, Howard Baker, Robert Dole and Philip Crane showed up for a debate that was to be between Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Feb. 23, 1980 in Nashua, N.H.

    AP Photo

  • Ronald Reagan chose Bush to be his running mate. Reagan, Bush and their wives wave goodbye as they leave Detroit two days after the Republican National Convention.

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  • Bush wipes his brow during a spirited debate with his opponent, Geraldine Ferraro, during the vice-presidential debate, Oct. 11, 1984. Ferraro, the first woman to be named a vice presidential nominee on a major party ticket, ran with Walter Mondale.

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  • Vice President Bush and his wife Barbara relax in bed as their daughter and grandchildren join them at home in Kennebunkport, Maine, 1987.

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  • After serving two terms as vice president, Bush ran for the nation’s highest office, announcing Senator Dan Quayle as his running mate before the national convention, Aug. 16, 1988.

    Diana Walker/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

  • Bush delivers his acceptance speech as his party’s nominee at the 1988 Republican Convention in New Orleans. He spoke of creating a “kinder, gentler nation” and he made the infamous remark, “Read my lips, no new taxes.” This last promise would come back to haunt him after he broke his word.

    Arnie Sachs/via AP Images

  • President-elect Bush waves to the crowd along with Barbara Bush, Vice President-elect Dan Quayle and Marilyn Quayle, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during an inaugural ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 18, 1989.

    Diana Walker/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

  • President Bush joins the band with Lee Atwater, chairman of the Republican National Committee, during a rhythm and blues concert in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 1989.

    J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photos

  • As president, Bush’s greatest successes were in foreign policy. He built on the relationships he had developed as Reagan’s vice president, as well as in his past life as a diplomat.

    Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher hold a press conference outside 10 Downing Street in London, June 1, 1989.

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  • President Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev share a ride together in a golf cart at Camp David in 1990.

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  • President Bush attends a Daily Point of Light celebration at Disney World, Sept. 30, 1991. The “Points of Light” Award was a special project of the Bush administration that honored volunteers.

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  • Russian President Boris Yeltsin tries his hand at pitching horseshoes during an impromptu White House tour with Bush in 1992.

    Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

  • Holding one of the first puppies born to Bush’s English springer spaniel, Millie, President Bush smiles as he carries the newborn across the South Lawn of the White House, March 29, 1989. A book “written” by Milie about her life in the White House became a bestseller in 1992.

    White House/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

  • President Bush and Barbara Bush greet guests from major disability groups that gathered to witness the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), July 26, 1990. The law prohibits discrimination and guarantees equal opportunities for those with disabilities.

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  • President Bush visits with U.S. Army troops in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War on Thanksgiving Day, 1990.

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  • Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney speaks with President Bush at the White House following his Mideast mission, Feb. 12, 1991. Cheney was in charge of overseeing “Operation Desert Storm,“ the deployment of forces to the Persian Gulf after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991.

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  • After four years in office President Bush was up for reelection, running against independent candidate Ross Perot and Democratic candidate Bill Clinton. Bush speaks with Perot following the second presidential debate in Richmond, Va., Oct. 15, 1992.

    Marcy Nighswander/AP Photo

  • President Bush kisses his wife Barbara at the end of a rally, Nov. 2, 1992 on the eve of the 1992 presidential election. Bush lost the election to Democratic candidate Bill Clinton.

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  • Former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon attend the Ronald Reagan Library dedication on Nov. 4, 1991, in Simi Valley, Calif.

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  • Barbara Bush, George H.W. Bush, First Lady Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton watch the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights during the dedication ceremony of the George Bush Library at Texas A&M University, Nov. 6, 1997.

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  • Former President George H.W. Bush hugs his son, George W. Bush, after he was sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States, Jan. 20, 2001.

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  • Former president George H.W. Bush flies through the air during a tandem parachute jump in Nov. of 2007 with Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliot. Bush celebrated his 75th, 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays with a parachute jump. place today (11.10.07) Feel free to call with any questions. Pictured with the President is Sergeant 1st Class Mike Elliot. Photo by Sergeant 1st Class Kevin McDaniel.

    U.S. Army

  • Former president George H.W. Bush joins President-elect Barack Obama, along with former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter in the Oval Office, Jan. 7, 2009.

    Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

  • Father and son and former presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush attend Game 4 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, Oct. 31, 2010.

    Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images

  • President Barack Obama awards former president George H.W. Bush the 2010 Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 15, 2011.

    Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

  • From left, President Barack Obama joins former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, April 25, 2013.

    Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

  • Former president George H.W. Bush sits for his portrait at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, June 17, 2015. Bush began experiencing health problems in 1991 when, as president, he was treated at a hospital for an irregular heartbeat. Doctors diagnosed him as having Graves Disease, a thyroid condition that his wife also had. In later years, he had bouts of respiratory illness and eventually lost his ability to walk unassisted — a frustration for a man who enjoyed an active lifestyle.

    David Hume Kennerly/GettyImages

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