Thursday 18 October 2018

George HW Bush first ex-president to turn 94

Mr Bush was the 41st president of the United States.

President George HW Bush addressing the nation in 1989 (Barry Thumma/AP
President George HW Bush addressing the nation in 1989 (Barry Thumma/AP

By Associated Press Reporter

George HW Bush has become the first former US president to turn 94.

The nation’s 41st president received calls and relaxed at his seaside home eight days after being released from hospital where he was treated for low blood pressure, said Chief of Staff Jean Becker.

Mr Bush’s office shared a letter from the president in which he said: “My heart is full on the first day of my 95th year.

The three most important things in life are faith, family and friends George HW Bush, ex-US president

“As many of you know, for years I have said the three most important things in life are faith, family and friends. My faith has never been stronger”.

Several of his children were in town, including former president George W Bush who posted a smiling photo of the two of them on Instagram.

“I’m a lucky man to be named for George Bush and to be with ’41’ on his 94th birthday,” wrote Bush Jnr, the nation’s 43rd president.

Another son, Neil Bush, called on people in a newspaper opinion piece to volunteer and “to become a point of light.”

As president, Mr Bush encouraged others to be “points of light,” reflecting his belief that people need to help out in their communities.

He became the oldest US president months ago and is the first to celebrate a 94th birthday, said spokesman Jim McGrath.

Former Democratic president Jimmy Carter is close behind, at 93, and he will celebrate his 94th on October 1. Two other former US presidents made it to 93: deceased Republicans Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

The CIA marked Mr Bush’s birthday by releasing declassified material related to his time as the agency’s director from January 1976 to January 1977.

The items include a video about his path to becoming CIA director and another about his farewell visit to the agency employees in January 1993, the final month of his presidency.

Related to that visit is a copy of a schedule for a briefing over lunch to discuss Iraq, Bosnia, Somalia, counter-intelligence, counter-narcotics and “CIS Ops,” an apparent reference to former Soviet states.

After dessert, the briefs included presentations on Russia, North Korea and “Clansig Operations,” an agency acronym for clandestine signals intelligence.

Press Association

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