Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, into a patrician New England family.
He grew up in the posh New York City suburb of Greenwich, Connecticut, and was educated at exclusive private schools and Yale University.
Bush came to know war firsthand, leaving school at 18 to become the Navy's youngest pilot in World War Two. He flew 58 missions off carriers in the Pacific, was shot down at sea and rescued by a US submarine.
President who influenced US history for decades
Bush who was the 41st president of the United States, lived longer than any of his predecessors.
He was president for four years but George Herbert Walker Bush influenced US history for decades, taking on tough jobs from Beijing to the CIA, ousting Iraqi forces from Kuwait, sealing a breakthrough budget deal that cost him an election and fathering a future president.
Adorned with US highest civilian award
A tall, athletic man with a friendly manner, Bush had played baseball at Yale and was fond of jogging, golf and fast boats. He loved pitching horseshoes, hunting, fishing and spending time at the family's seaside home in Maine.
Bush was credited with helping to restore morale after the CIA had undergone investigations into illegal and unauthorized activities. In 1998, the agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, was named the George Bush Center for Intelligence.
President Barack Obama gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award.
His military and diplomatic actions cast US as world's leading superpower
His presidency, which ran from 1989 to 1993, was defined by two events: his aggressive response to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and the soon-to-be-broken "read my lips" pledge he made not to raise taxes while running for president in 1988.
At a time when the Cold War was ending and the influence of Soviet-style communism was withering, Bush's military and diplomatic actions firmly cast the United States as the world's leading superpower.
President's gift to disabled
A major accomplishment of Bush's presidency can be seen every day across America - from the cut-away curbs on street intersections to the ramps outside buildings that allow access to those confined to wheelchairs.
They were mandated by the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, the law Bush signed that barred discrimination against the disabled in the workplace and ensured them equal access to public accommodations. Bush backed the law despite concerns from some conservatives in his party about the cost and potential litigation.