Washington (CNN) – Former President George H.W. Bush – the skydiving, colorful sock wearing, octogenarian – is now on Twitter.
Bush, who is tweeting from @GeorgeHWBush, used his first tweet to herald the late Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who died this month. Bush also addressed the fact that he was unable to attend Tuesday's Mandela memorial.
Barbara and I wish we could have joined the U.S. delegation honoring President Mandela today. He, and his countrymen, are in our prayers.—
George Bush (@GeorgeHWBush) December 10, 2013
Jim McGrath, the president's spokesman, confirmed the account was actually the former president, tweeting that "You can now follow the 41st President of the United States on Twitter at @GeorgeHWBush."
Earlier this week, a spokesman for Bush told CNN that the former president would not be attending the Mandela memorial, citing the traveling distance and Bush's advanced age of 89-years old.
Bush was the only living president not to attend the event – with President Barack Obama, along with former President George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter all in attendance.
By sending his first tweet on Tuesday, the elder Bush also earns a leg up on his son, Bush 43, who has yet to send his first tweet.
CNN's Dan Merica and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.