The nation's 41st president served from 1989 to 1993, and eight years later watched his son George W. became the 43rd president.
The elder Bush saw his popularity swell with the United States' success in the Gulf War in 1991, only to watch it evaporate in a brief but deep recession. The Republican was defeated in his bid for a second term by Democrat Bill Clinton.
Bush had also been a World War II hero, Texas congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan's vice president.
Only one other U.S. president, John Adams, had a son who also became president.