George H.W. Bush takes one last skydive for 90th birthday

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USA Today

Posted on June 12, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 12 at 8:22 PM

Former president George H.W. Bush turned 90 years young Thursday, and celebrated the only way he knows how: by skydiving.

Just as he did for birthdays 80 and 85, Bush marked the end of his ninth decade with one last parachute jump.

Aided by an ex-military jumper, Bush touched down near his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, at around 11:15 a.m.

The elder Bush had tweeted earlier Thursday: "It's a wonderful day in Maine — in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump."

Among his greeters on the ground: Son and former president George W. Bush.

The senior Bush's office said it was his eighth jump — starting with the one he made after the Japanese shot down his fighter plane over the Pacific during World War II on Sept. 2, 1944.

Granddaughter Jenna Hager Bush first reported the planned jump as part of a Father's Day package on NBC's Today show. The segment included an interview with President Obama, who praised his predecessor.

H.W. Bush "is as fine a man as I know, and whenever I see him with you guys, you can tell how beloved he is by his kids and his grandkids," Obama told Hager Bush. "And I just want him to know that from the whole Obama family, we wish him all the best."

Bush is also the subject of a new CNN documentary — 41 on 41 — that debuts Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

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