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Spokesman: Pres. George H.W. Bush recovering

Jan. 7, 2013 - 05:49PM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 7, 2013 - 05:49PM  |  
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HOUSTON — President George H.W. Bush's recovery from a bronchitis-related cough and subsequent complications is "continuing" and there's still no timetable for his release from a Houston hospital, a Bush family spokesman said Monday.

Bush, 88, the nation's oldest living ex-president, has been in Methodist Hospital since Nov. 23.

"President Bush's recovery is continuing," spokesman Jim McGrath said in a brief statement, the first word about Bush's condition since Dec. 30. "In recent days he has taken great pride watching big football wins by Texas A&M and the Houston Texans."

The Texans, whose games Bush frequently has attended, beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday in the opening round of the NFL playoffs. Texas A&M University, home to Bush's presidential library and museum about 100 miles northwest of Houston, topped Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Friday.

"While no immediate timeline has been set for the President's discharge, the Bushes wish to thank everyone for their many kind messages," McGrath said.

Bush already had been in the hospital about a month for treatment of the persistent cough when his office disclosed he had been placed in intensive care after physicians had difficulty controlling a fever that developed once the cough was mostly resolved.

On Dec. 30, a similar brief announcement said Bush had been transferred to a regular hospital room after about a week in intensive care.

Jean Becker, Bush's longtime chief of staff, has said updates are being limited out of respect for the family.

Bush and his wife, Barbara, live in Houston during the winter and spend their summers at a home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Their 68th wedding anniversary was Sunday; they are the longest married presidential couple.

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

Bush was a naval aviator in World War II — at one point the youngest in the Navy — and was shot down over the Pacific. He's skydived on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House, most recently when he turned 85.

Bush also is a former U.S. ambassador to China, CIA director and congressman from Texas.

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