Germany's respected news weekly Der Spiegel mistakenly published an obituary Sunday for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, hours after a family spokesman said the 88-year-old was recovering from illness.

Bush was hospitalized in Houston, Tex., Nov. 23 for treatment of a bronchitis-related cough and moved to intensive care on Dec. 23 after he developed a fever. On Saturday, spokesman Jim McGrath said Bush was moved out of intensive care into a regular hospital room again after his condition improved.

'All newsrooms prepare obituaries for selected figures. The fact that [it] went live was a technical mistake.'—Der Spiegel tweet

The unfinished obituary appeared on Der Spiegel's website for only a few minutes Sunday before it was spotted by internet users and removed.

In it, the magazine's New York correspondent described Bush as "a colorless politician" whose image only improved when it was compared to the later presidency of his son, George W. Bush.

"All newsrooms prepare obituaries for selected figures," the magazine said on its Twitter feed. "The fact that the one for Bush senior went live was a technical mistake. Sorry!"