George H.W. Bush hospitalized for 'shortness of breath' - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

George H.W. Bush hospitalized for 'shortness of breath'

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UPDATE: According to a NBC Nightly News tweet, President George W.H. Bush was admitted to the intensive care unit undergoing a proceedure to protect and clear airway performed. The First Lady Barbara Bush was also hospitalized as a precaution "after experiencing fatigue and coughing". 

Former President George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized as a precaution after experiencing "shortness of breath," his office confirmed early Wednesday.

Earlier, local media quoted his chief of staff as saying the 41st president was expected to go home from Houston Methodist Hospital in a few days.

Former president George H.W. Bush talks with Houston Texans owner Bob McNair before a playoff game against the Oakland Raiders on Jan. 7. Eric Christian Smith / AP

"He's there. He's fine and he's doing really well," the Houston Chronicle quoted Bush chief of staff Jean Becker as saying.

A statement later released by his office said the 92-year-old Bush was "being monitored as a precaution and is resting comfortably."

Bush, who served as U.S. president from 1989 to 1993, has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility. He was hospitalized in Maine in 2015 after falling at his summer home and breaking a bone in his neck. In December 2014 he was hospitalized in Houston for about a week for shortness of breath. Previous to those stays he spent Christmas 2012 in intensive care for a bronchitis-related cough and other issues.

Despite the loss of mobility, he celebrated his 90th birthday by making a tandem parachute jump in Kennebunkport. Last summer, Bush led a group of 40 wounded warriors on a fishing trip at the helm of his speedboat, three days after his 92nd birthday celebration.

His office announced earlier this month that Bush and his wife, Barbara, would not attend Donald Trump's inauguration this week due to the former president's age and health.

"Bush 41," as he affectionately became known, entered politics in 1964 when he lost his bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas. But he went on to win a House seat two years later and run again for Senate in 1970 at the urging of President Richard Nixon. He was unsuccessful, however Nixon rewarded Bush by appointing him as ambassador to the United Nations.

George H.W. Bush, right, and his wife Barbara Bush, wave to the crowd at a victory celebration rally in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 8, 1988. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

From there he went on to hold a host of different titles, including chairman of the Republican National Committee, the U.S. envoy to China, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The experiences would prove the cornerstone of his failed 1980 presidential campaign that led to his selection as Ronald Reagan's running mate. It catapulted his own presidential campaign in 1988 when he defeated Democrat Michael Dukakis.

As the 41st president, he helped oversee the end of the Soviet Union, made two selections to the Supreme Court and, most notably, stood up to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, temporarily boosting him to record-high approval ratings.

But a faltering economy and breaking his famous "no new taxes" pledge led to Bush's 1992 loss to Bill Clinton.

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