George H.W. Bush Hospitalized in Houston

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Former US President George H. W. Bush points to his wife Barbara Bush during an event in the East Room of the White House July 15, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Former US President George H. W. Bush points to his wife Barbara Bush during an event in the East Room of the White House July 15, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Former President George H.W. Bush, 90, was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital tonight “as a precaution” after experiencing shortness of breath, according to a statement from his office.

Bush was taken to the hospital by ambulance and was being held there for observation, according to the statement issued by Jim McGrath, his spokesman.

President Barack Obama, vacationing with his family in Hawaii, has been made aware of Bush’s hospitalization, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama “send their good wishes to the former president and the entire Bush family during this holiday season,” Schultz said.

Bush occupied the White House from 1989-1993 after serving two terms as vice president under President Ronald Reagan. Bush, a Republican, was defeated for re-election in 1992 by Democrat Bill Clinton.

His eldest son, George W. Bush, served as president from 2001-2009. Another of his sons, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, announced earlier this month that he will “actively explore” seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

The elder Bush, though now wheelchair bound, celebrated his 90th birthday on June 12 with a tandem skydive near his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Bush is the oldest living ex-U.S. president. Democrat Jimmy Carter, who served from 1977-1981, was born about three-and-a-half months after Bush in 1924.

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