Milestones in the life of George H.W. Bush

(Reuters) – Following are key events in the life of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States who died on Friday at the age of 94.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Freedom to former U.S. President George H.W. Bush during a ceremony at the White House in Washington February 15, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing/File Photo

June 12, 1924 – Born to New York banker, and later U.S. senator from Connecticut, Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush in Massachusetts.

1941 – After Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, Bush joins the Navy and becomes the youngest U.S. naval aviator, flying 58 combat missions during World War Two.

1944 – His plane is hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire, forcing him to bail out over the Pacific. He is rescued by a submarine crew.

1945 – Marries Barbara Pierce, with whom he has six children including George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. president, and Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor and a 2016 presidential candidate.

1948 – Graduates from Yale University and moves his family to West Texas, where he enters the oil business.

1964 – Loses his first political race, for a U.S. Senate seat from Texas.

1966 – Wins his first elected office, a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas. He is elected to a second term in 1968.

1970 – Loses his second bid for a Senate seat to Lloyd Bentsen.

1971 – President Richard Nixon appoints him U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

1973 – Becomes Republican National Committee chairman.

1974 – Becomes chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing under President Gerald Ford.

1976 – Named by Ford as director of Central Intelligence. Credited with helping to restore morale at the agency after investigations into illegal and unauthorized activities.

1980 – Bush makes his first run for the White House, losing in the Republican primaries to Ronald Reagan, who selects him as his vice presidential nominee on a winning ticket.

1981 – Bush becomes vice president.

1984 – Reagan and Bush are re-elected for a second term.

1988 – Bush is elected as 41st president, defeating Democrat Michael Dukakis and assuming office in January 1989. During his term, he signs the Americans with Disabilities Act and reauthorizes the Clean Air Act, requiring cleaner burning fuels. He also signs the Immigration Act of 1990, increasing legal immigration.

1989 – Bush sends U.S. troops into Panama to unseat dictator Manuel Noriega.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bush meets Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Malta, laying the groundwork for post-Cold War relations.

1990 – Fighting to control a ballooning federal deficit, Bush is forced to compromise with a Democratic Congress and raise taxes. This breaks the emphatic vow of “Read my lips: no new taxes” he made during the 1988 campaign. The tax increase, paired with a weakening economy, helps derail Bush’s bid for re-election in 1992; he loses to Democrat Bill Clinton.

1991 – After Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invades oil-rich neighbor Kuwait, Bush sends troops and aircraft that push Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

1993 – Bush is awarded an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth.

1997 – The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

1999 – To mark his 75th birthday, Bush goes tandem skydiving, landing on the lawn of his presidential library. He repeats the feat on his 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays.

2005 – Joins with Clinton in a campaign to raise funds to help victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

2009 – Bush attends the commissioning of the USS George H.W. Bush, the Navy’s 10th and last Nimitz-class supercarrier.

2011 – President Barack Obama awards him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian award.

2012 – Bush is hospitalized with pneumonia, and his family gathers at his bedside fearing the worst. After a seven-week illness, he recovers.

2014 – Bush is honored with the Profile in Courage Award for his 1990 budget compromise by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, which praises the “decision to put country above party and political prospects.”

Bush son George W. Bush publishes “41 – A Portrait of My Father,” a book he calls a “love story” about his father.

Hospitalized for a week in Houston with breathing difficulties.

2015 – Suffers a broken bone in his neck in a fall in July at the family’s Maine home.

2017 – Sends letter to Donald Trump in January to say that he will not be able to attend his presidential inauguration due to health concerns. That same month undergoes surgery to remove blockage from lungs.

Hospitalized for pneumonia; Barbara also is hospitalized as a precaution in January.

2018 – Barbara dies on April 17, and on April 21 Bush attends her funeral. A day later he us hospitalized for a blood infection that led to sepsis.

In May, the former president is admitted to a hospital in Maine for low blood pressure and fatigue.

Editing by Bill Trott, Howard Goller, Diane Craft and Jonathan Oatis

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