Rumor: Former President George H.W. Bush died over the weekend

A rumor is circulating that former President George H.W. Bush died over the weekend


UNCONFIRMED: Bush’s death

Germany’s respected weekly magazine Der Spiegel mistakenly published an unfinished obituary for former President George H. W. Bush, 88, on its website Sunday, hours after family spokesman Jim McGrath said the 41st president was moved out of intensive care and into a regular hospital room after his condition improved. (Read about the obituary here.)

The less-than-flattering obituary, titled “The Better Bush,” was taken down within minutes but not before several Spiegel readers noticed. In the story, Bush is described as “a colorless politician” whose image improved only when compared with the later presidency of his son, George W. Bush. The magazine apologized on its Twitter feed. (Read it here.)

Bush was hospitalized in Houston on Nov. 23 for treatment of a bronchitis-related cough and moved to intensive care on Dec. 23 after he developed a persistent fever. He was visited on Christmas by his wife, Barbara; son Neil; Neil’s wife and a grandson, Pierce. The family brought him Chinese food for his Christmas dinner, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Young at heart

Just three years ago, Bush celebrated his 85th birthday with a  tandem parachute jump (read about it here), saying at the time he enjoyed it so much he planned to do it again for his 90th birthday. In 1997, Bush fulfilled a wartime promise to himself to jump from a plane for fun, then repeated the feat on his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays.

Bush's first parachute jump came when his plane was shot down over the Pacific Ocean in 1944 during World War II. He bailed out at 1,500 feet after a bombing mission over ChiChi Jima. His two crewmates didn't make it.



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