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George H.W. Bush, former president and WGHOF member, dies at 94

George H.W. Bush at the 1996 Presidents Cup
Getty Images

Former President George H.W. Bush, a golf enthusiast and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee, died late Friday night at his Houston home. At 94, he was the oldest living former U.S. president.

The 41st president was an avid golf fan and helped raise the profile of the sport. In the past two decades, after his administration, Bush had received numerous awards from golf organizations, including the PGA of America’s Distinguished Service Award (1997), the USGA’s Bob Jones Award (2008) and the PGA Tour’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2009).

In 2011, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, via the Lifetime Achievement Category.

A proponent of improving pace of play on the course, Bush served as honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup in its second year, 1996, often attending both that biennial competition and the Ryder Cup. He also was an honorary member of the PGA, an honorary chairman of the USGA Museum and Archives President’s council and served as honorary chairman of The First Tee from 1997-2011.

His ties to golf ran deep: Bush’s grandfather, George Herbert Walker, served as president of the USGA in 1920 and is credited with proposing the idea of the biennial, intercontinental amateur matches that have since become known as the Walker Cup.

In 1995, during perhaps his most historic round, Bush played alongside former President Gerald Ford, then-President Bill Clinton, Bob Hope and defending champion Scott Hoch at the Bob Hope Classic (now known as the CareerBuilder Challenge).

Bush served in the White House from 1980-88 as vice president and 1988-92 as president. His wife, Barbara, died in April, at age 92. Read here for more on Bush's life and legacy.