Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush looks into the audience during the Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House in Washington February 15, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR2IN6X
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush looks into the audience during the Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House in Washington February 15, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR2IN6X

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush has been admitted to a hospital in the southwestern city of Houston, Texas.

A spokesman for the 90-year-old Bush said the former president was taken to Houston Methodist Hospital after experiencing shortness of breath.

The 41st U.S. president and father of former President George W. Bush was admitted to the same hospital in December 2012 for treatment of a bronchitis-related cough. He was released seven weeks later.  

President Barack Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii, has been informed of the elder Bush's illness, the White House said in a statement. It said Obama and his wife Michelle "send their good wishes" to the ailing Bush and his entire family.

George H.W. Bush served as president from 1989 to1993. He spent the previous eight years as Ronald Reagan's vice president.

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