George Herbert Walker Bush, a World War II veteran, former United Nations ambassador and director of the CIA who was elected as the 41st president of the United States and fathered the 43rd, died on Friday at the age of 94.
The president who oversaw both a war in the Middle East and the end of the Cold War spent decades in government service. Throughout his years in the public's eye, Bush was complimented for his temperament, graciousness and kindness — qualities cited repeatedly by figures on both sides of the aisle on Saturday, as tributes to his life and legacy poured in.
Bush outlived Ronald Reagan, the larger-than-life president and movement figure under whom he served for eight years as vice president. Reagan died in 2004 at the age of 93, and a statement from his presidential library acknowledged the "remarkable partnership" both men forged during a pivotal era in American history.
"As they reignited the U.S. economy, battled tyranny across the globe, and restored America's pride and purpose, President Reagan relied on his vice president's calm, strength, loyalty, and wisdom," said Fred Ryan, chairman of the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.
"In all that the administration achieved, President Reagan once remarked, "no one has been closer to my side and has contributed more to our success than George Bush," Ryan added.