George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker George H. W. Bush
Bush (born June 12,
1924) was the 41st
(1989-1993) President Order: 41st President
of the United States. Term of Office: January 20, 1989 - January 20, 1993
Previously, he served
as director of the CIA Predecessor: Ronald Reagan
in 1976, and the 43rd Successor: Bill Clinton
Vice President of the
United States under Date of Birth: Thursday, June 12, 1924
President Ronald Place of Birth: Milton, Massachusetts
Reagan (1981-1989). First Lady: Barbara Pierce
His son, George W. Profession: businessman
Bush, is the 43rd Political Party: Republican
President of the Vice President: Dan Quayle
George Bush's father, Prescott Bush, served as a Senator from Connecticut.
George Bush attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he
demonstrated early leadership, captaining the baseball team. Here he learned
of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and after graduating in June, 1942,
he joined the US Navy.
He was a naval aviator during World War II, the youngest ever at that time,
and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in the Pacific Theater.
After the War he attended Yale University, and was inducted into the secret
society (essentially a fraternity) Skull and Bones, helping him to build
friendships and political support.
He married Barbara Pierce on January 6, 1945. Their marriage produced 6
children, George W., Robin (died of leukemia at the age of 3), John (Jeb),
Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy. His family has built on his and his father's
political successes with his son George W. Bush's Governorship of Texas and
subsequent election as President, and his son Jeb Bush's election as
Governor of Florida. The Bush political dynasty has been compared to that of
John Adams and the Kennedy family.
Bush ventured into the Texas oil business after the war, with mixed results.
He secured a position with Dresser through his father's investment banking
relationship with the company. His son, Neil Mallon Bush, is named after his
employer at Dresser, Neil Mallon, a close family friend.
In 1964, Bush ventured into conventional politics, and although his 1964
Senate campaign was unsuccessful, he was elected in 1966 and 1968 to the
House of Representatives from the 7th District of Texas. He later lost his
second attempt at a Senate seat in 1970. He served as US Ambassador to the
United Nations, US Envoy to communist China, and Director of the Central
In 1980, Bush ran for President, losing in the Republican Party primaries to
Ronald Reagan, the former Governor of California. Reagan selected Bush as
his running mate and Vice Presidential candidate on the Republican
Presidential ticket of 1980, and they went on to win. Reagan needed Bush to
strengthen his tough stance on the Soviet Union, that Reagan earned from a
speech at the 1976 Republican Convention. Bush had been many things Reagan
had not been, a military man, a life-long Republican, and an
internationalist with UN, CIA and China experience. Reagan had started life
a Democrat, had not fought in World War II, and headed the Actors' Labor
union, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
The Reagan/Bush ticket won again in 1984, against the Democrats' Walter
Mondale/Geraldine Ferraro ticket. In 1988, after 8 years as Vice President,
Bush ran for President with the little known Senator Dan Quayle as his
running mate and beat Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen, 426 to 111
electoral votes. (Lloyd Bentsen received one.)
During his second term as Vice President, Bush had the distinction of
becoming the first Vice President to become Acting President when, on July
13, 1985, President Reagan underwent surgery to remove cancerous polyps from
his colon. Bush served as Acting President for approximately 8 hours, during
which time he is reported to have spent most of the time playing tennis.
As President of the United States, George Bush is perhaps best known for
leading the United Nations coalition in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. In 1990, led
by Saddam Hussein, Iraq invaded its oil-rich neighbor to the south, Kuwait.
The broad coalition sought to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait and ensure
that Iraq did not invade Saudi Arabia. President Bush's popularity rating in
America soared during and immediately after the successful military
operations, but later fell due to an economic recession.
A mild economic recession from July 1990 to March 1991 was a contributing
factor to his defeat in the 1992 Presidential election. Several other
factors were key in his defeat, including siding with Congressional
Democrats in 1990 to raise taxes despite his famous "read my lips" pledge
not to institute any new taxes. In doing so, Bush alienated many members of
his conservative base, losing their support for his re-election. Another
major factor, which may have helped Bill Clinton defeat Bush in the 1992
election was the candidacy of Ross Perot. Perot won 19% of the popular vote,
and Clinton, still a largely unknown quantity in American politics, won the election.
After losing the election, Bush has retired from public life. After
retiring, he did, however, notably parachute from an airplane for the first
time since World War II. The Bushes live in Houston, Texas and their summer
home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located on the Southwest
corner of the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas.
The tenth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier will be named USS George H. W. Bush
when it is launched in 2009.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas was renamed after the
former president in 1997.
Supreme Court appointments
* David Hackett Souter - 1990
* Clarence Thomas - 1991