Der Spiegel mistakenly publishes George H. W. Bush obit

The respected German newspaper put up the article for just a few minutes

Published December 30, 2012 6:54PM (EST)

Some very embarrassed staff at top German publication Der Spiegel must have missed the Bush family announced that George H.W. was recovering from his recent illness. The newspaper put up and obituary for the former president on its website before the mistake was rectified within minutes.

According to the AP, the article described Bush Sr. as '“a colorless politician” whose image only improved when it was compared to the later presidency of his son, George W. Bush.'

Bush Sr., 88, who suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease, has been in and out of Houston’s Methodist Hospital since early November, battling a severe cough. He left intensive care on Saturday.

Der Spiegel's Twitter feed later apologized for the "technical mistake," noting that obituaries for well-known politicians and celebrities are typically prepared in advance of their death.

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Der Spiegel Fail George H.w. Bush Obituary