FILE - In this Feb. 11, 1991, file photo, President George H.W. Bush talks to reporters in the Rose Garden of the White House after meeting with top military advisors to discuss the Persian Gulf War. From left are, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, Vice President Dan Quayle, White House Chief of Staff John Sununu, the president, Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Colin Powell. Bush died at the age of 94 on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush. (Associated Press)
Soon after news broke that former President George H.W. Bush had died Friday at age 94, tributes and remembrances started arriving from past presidents, past members of the Bush administration as well as friends and admirers of the former president and his family.
Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama called Bush a "patriot" and "humble servant" in a statement, and praised him for expelling former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from Kuwait and helping to end the Cold War.
The Obamas credited him with "expanding America's promise to new immigrants and people with disabilities. Reducing the scourge of nuclear weapons and building a broad international coalition to expel a dictator from Kuwait. And when democratic revolutions bloomed across Eastern Europe, it was his steady, diplomatic hand that made possible an achievement once thought anything but - ending the Cold War without firing a shot."
"George H.W. Bush's life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling," the statement reads. "It's a legacy of service that will never be matched, even though he'd want all of us to try."
Former Vice President Dan Quayle, who served under Bush, was considered by many a surprise choice when Bush selected the then-U.S. senator and former congressman from Indiana as his running mate in 1988.
"As so many Americans did, I had true affection for the man George Bush," Quayle said in a statement. "He was a completely genuine, decent and honorable person. What’s more, he went into and out of the office as absolutely the same man. I think that exemplifies his character. I have often told my children “If you want a role model in your life — look to President George Herbert Walker Bush. The world mourns the loss of a great American. But, it also celebrates a life well lived.
"As so many Americans did, I had true affection for the man George Bush. He was a completely genuine, decent and honorable person. What’s more, he went into and out of the office as absolutely the same man."— Dan Quayle, former vice president
James A. Baker III, who served as U.S. secretary of state and White House chief of staff during the Bush administration (1989-1993), said in a statement that Bush's legacy "will be forever etched in the history of America and the world."
"It is a lifelong record of selfless patriotic service to our nation," Baker continued. "He was the youngest Navy pilot in World War II, a Texas congressman, UN ambassador, America’s first envoy to China, CIA director, vice president and president.
"In each and every one of these positions, he led with strength, integrity, compassion and humility -- characteristics that define a truly great man and effective leader. With a singularly unique consistency, he always demonstrated these traits, whether on the global stage or interacting with people in his everyday life. His passion was a deep love of family and our country. It was my pleasure and great joy to have had him as my special friend for more than 60 years. Susan joins me in grieving the passing of our dear friend and sending the entire Bush family our deepest love and condolences."
"His passion was a deep love of family and our country. It was my pleasure and great joy to have had him as my special friend for more than 60 years. Susan joins me in grieving the passing of our dear friend and sending the entire Bush family our deepest love and condolences."— James A. Baker III, former U.S. secretary of state
The daughters of former President Richard Nixon also paid tribute to Bush's life and public service.
"Our father believed in George H.W. Bush," a statement from Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower said. "George H.W. Bush lived a life that was purposeful, and extraordinary rewarding -- for out nation, and for our world."
Bush's grandson, George P. Bush, said his grandfather was the "greatest man I ever knew."
Franklin Graham, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, also remembered Bush in a Twitter message.
"President and Mrs. Bush were friends of my parents’ through the years. May God bring comfort to all the Bush family," he tweeted.
Former Vice President Al Gore said Bush inspired others to volunteer in their communities through his Thousand Points of Light initiative.
"He inspired countless Americans to volunteer and improve their communities through his Points of Light Foundation. President Bush leaves behind an American legacy of a lifetime of service that will be revered for generations," his statement said.