Jeb Bush Calls George H.W. Bush the 'Greatest Human' as Obama, Trump & More Mourn His Death
Following the death of George H.W. Bush, many politicians and his children shared heartfelt tributes in his honor
“I already miss the greatest human being that I will ever know,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wrote on Twitter Saturday morning. “Love you Dad!”
“Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” George W. Bush captioned a photo showing his late father walking arm and arm with his late wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, who died at age 92 in April.
“George H. W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for the 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens,” he added.
His grandson George P. Bush wrote on Twitter Friday, “My grandfather was the greatest man I ever knew.”
“Along the way, he married the love of his life and was a father to six, including a president and two governors. But to me, he will always be Gampy. The man who taught me to fish in Maine, to throw a horseshoe and to swing a baseball bat lefty,” he continued in a series of tweets. “He was more than a great man; he was a good man. His courage was matched by his compassion; and his dedication to country was equaled only by his devotion to his family. Gampy, we love you and we will miss you. But we will never forget you.”
George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush
Bush’s spokesperson Jim McGrath went on to tweet a sweet cartoon that showed Bush reunited in heaven with his wife Barbara and their daughter Robin, who died at age 3 of leukemia, in 1953.
“We waited for you,” his late wife and daughter tell him in the cartoon, as all three of them hold hands.
Following Barbara’s death, cartoonist Marshall Ramsey also created a touching cartoon of the mother being reunited with her daughter at the gates of heaven.
Jenna Bush Hager also shared the photo as she remembered her grandfather.
“This brought me such comfort this morning,” she wrote on Instagram before sharing a touching conversation about death that she had with her grandfather before he passed away.
“I had the opportunity to talk with my grandpa about the afterlife. This is what he said: He answered without any hesitation. ‘Yes, I think about it. I used to be afraid. I used to be afraid of dying. I used to worry about death. But now in some ways I look forward to it.’ And I started crying. I managed to choke out, ‘Well, why? What do you look forward to?’ And he said, ‘Well, when I die, I’m going to be reunited with these people that I’ve lost,’ ” she said. “And I asked who he hoped to see. He replied I hope I see Robin, and I hope I see my mom. I haven’t yet figured it out if it will be Robin as the three year old that she was, this kind of chubby, vivacious child or if she’ll come as a middle-aged woman, an older woman. And then he said, ‘I hope she’s the three-year-old.’ Robin was the daughter this giant of a man lost years before to leukemia. The little girl he held tightly: who spoke the phrase I have heard Gampy repeat for my entire life, forever knitting Robin’s voice into the tightly woven fabric of our family: ‘I Love you more than tongue can tell.’”
The Today correspondent went on to share another memory of her late grandfather alongside a slideshow of family photos.
“Waking up missing this giant of a man who gave me everything. He taught me and my family about service, family, decency, the power of gentle words and a beautiful heart. I will miss him desperately but so happy he and my grandmother are back together,” she wrote.
Former President Barack Obama, who attended the funeral of the late Barbara Bush earlier this year, also mourned the loss of his fellow commander in chief.
“America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude. Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example,” he wrote in a statement.
“After seventy-three years of marriage, George and Barbara Bush are together again now, two points of light that never dimmer, two points of light that ignited countless others with their examples,” he continued.
“Melania and I join with a grieving Nation to mourn the loss of former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away last night,” the statement read.
“Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service – to be, in his words, ‘a thousand points of light’ illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world,” the statement continued. “Along with his full life of service to country, we will remember President Bush for his devotion to family – especially the love of his life, Barbara. His example lives on, and will continue to stir future Americans to pursue a greater cause. Our hearts ache with his loss, and we, with the American people, send our prayers to the entire Bush family, as we honor the life and legacy of 41.”
In a separate tweet shared on Saturday morning, Trump also wrote, “President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life. Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family. His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!”
His death was also mourned by former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as George H.W. Bush’s former vice president, Dan Quayle.
The former president died on Friday night at 10:10 p.m., his spokesperson Jim McGrath confirmed.
His death comes nearly eight months after his beloved wife Barbara died on April 17.
The pair met as teenagers, and their storybook marriage lasted 73 years.
Even after her death, the lifelong Republican remained devoted to his bride, sitting beside her casket for hours in his wheelchair as mourners paid their respects while she laid in repose one day before her invitation-only funeral.
George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush
But the weight of her passing clearly took a toll on Bush, who was admitted to the intensive care unit of Houston Methodist Hospital less than 24 hours following the funeral, after contracting an infection that spread to his blood.
He later recovered and traveled to the family’s beloved summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, in mid-May, but a week later was readmitted to the hospital for low blood pressure and fatigue.
The New England native leaves behind five living children: George W., Jeb, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy — 17 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. (Poppy, the second child of granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager, was named after her great-grandfather, who went by the nickname in his youth.) He is predeceased by daughter Robin, who is buried alongside her mother.