President George H.W. Bush’s life in the public sphere was defined by service to his country. He enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday, becoming the youngest fighter pilot in World War II.
He served Presidents Nixon and Ford in several high-level positions.
The former fighter pilot waged a fierce battle against Democratic challenger Michael Dukakis and won, becoming the 41st President of the United States.
Former President George W. Bush says his father’s legacy will grow with time.
The one term that President George Herbert Walker Bush served began in 1989. It coincided with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union.
Daryl Carter, Associate Professor of History at East Tennessee State University, reflected on Bush’s presidency.
“For us as historians, we’re going to view him as a part of that bridge from the Cold War into the post-Cold War and into the War on Terror. He’s a part of that continuum. And along with that, his civility and the fact that he was a respectable man.”
In June, Bush celebrated his 94th birthday with family members in Maine, becoming the first U.S. President in history to reach that age.