Dec 24, 2014 12:04 AM

Ex-President George H.W. Bush taken to hospital

The Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) Former President George H.W. Bush was admitted to a Houston hospital Tuesday evening after experiencing a shortness of breath, a family spokesman said.

Bush, 90, was taken by ambulance to Houston Methodist Hospital as a "precaution," according to spokesman Jim McGrath. He "will be held for observation, again as a precaution," McGrath said in a statement.

Bush spent nearly two months in the same hospital and was discharged in January 2013 after treatment for a bronchitis-related cough and other issues.

The White House said President Barack Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii, has been notified about Bush's hospital admission.

"President Obama and the first lady send their good wishes to the former president and the entire Bush family during this holiday season," said White House spokesman Eric Schultz.

Bush made two public appearances last month. He attended an event at Texas A&M University with his son, former President George W. Bush, and served as the coin toss captain for the Houston Texans during a Nov. 23 game that honored the U.S. Armed Forces.

The elder Bush, the nation's 41st president, had served two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice president when he was elected in 1988. Four years later, after a term highlighted by the success of the 1991 Gulf War in Kuwait, he lost to Democrat Bill Clinton amid voters' concerns about the economy.

He was a naval aviator in World War II at one point the youngest in the Navy and was shot down over the Pacific.

The elder Bush has skydived on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House. In June, he celebrated his 90th birthday by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. During the winter, Bush and his wife, Barbara, live in Houston.

Bush, also a former U.S. ambassador to China and CIA director, suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease that has forced him in recent years to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair for mobility.


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