George Bush

Official White House photo of President George H. W. Bush

Official White House photo of President George H. W. Bush

George H.W. Bush was the 41st President of the United States. He served from 1989-1993. He was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts. His father was a banker on Wall Street and became a Senator later. Bush attended Philips Academy in Andover. He enlisted in the Navy and was the youngest pilot when he got his wings.

Bush was involved in some fifty-eight missions in World War II. One on mission he was shot down, and was rescued by a US submarine. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts. He attended Yale University, after which he went into business in the oil industry.

Bush had first met Barbara Pierce when she was sixteen years old at a dance at a country club. With Bush at Andover and then off in the Navy, the two kept in touch via letters. Right before Bush was to report to his navy squadron (September 1943) the two became engaged secretly. Barbara Bush has stated that she has married the first man she ever kissed.

Bush and Barbara had six children together, George, Robin, John, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. Robin died of leukemia at the age of three. John, known as Jeb, and George followed in their father’s footsteps and both have pursued public government roles with Jeb the governor of Florida, and George becoming President of the United States.

Bush, like his father, wanted to get into public service. He served as a Representative to Congress from Texas for two terms. He had run two times for the Senate but lost the elections. Following the model from his father, Prescott Bush, who served the public as a Senator from Connecticut, Bush began a life in public service.

He then was appointed to several positions that helped him gain more experience that later proved beneficial as President. He held positions as Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the United States Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Bush ran for the Republican nomination for President in 1980 but he was not chosen. However, Ronald Reagan chose Bush for his running mate and, after Reagan won the election, Bush became the Vice President. In the 1988 election Bush ran for President with Senator Dan Quayle as his running mate and won the election over Michael Dukakis.

Bush had many foreign affairs issues to focus on. The Cold War was over. The Soviet Union had crumpled and Gorbachev, resigned. Bush had decided to send troops into Panama to oust General Manuel Noriega. Noriega was brought to the US and put on trial as a drug trafficker.

The Persian Gulf War was a prime focus. Bush knew that he had to work with the United Nations. He worked with the Security Council which called for the Iraqi forces to get out of Kuwait. He complied with the resolutions but continued to hope to overthrow Iraqi’s dictator, Saddam Hussein. The Desert Storm, as the battle was known, was successful with allied troops joining American troops to win over Iraq’s large army and drive them from Kuwait.

Bush had worked through the UN mandate by building a coalition of twenty-nine different nations. Bush had used his ability to work together and used his great diplomacy. Bush was able to use his own personality and move quickly when needed and usually made direct contact with world leaders via the phone.

Domestically Bush had issues to take care of at home as well. Bush had committed $166 billion to the failing saving and loan institutions. The savings and loan banks were putting money in high risk ventures like stock and real estate speculation and the lack of government regulations did not help.

Bush had made a campaign promise, “Read my lips: No new taxes!” But Bush had to go back on his word when he agreed to raise taxes in order to get his balanced-budget deal. Bush was trying to handle the $2.7 trillion national debt that he had inherited from Reagan.

The approval rating for Bush peaked at the end of the Gulf War. The economy in the US was turning around, but Bush did not capitalize on it for his Presidential run for the second term. He also had competition from Ross Perot who received 19 percent of the votes and Bill Clinton who had 43 percent of the votes.

One memorable event that happened while Bush was in the White House was his notable distaste for broccoli. Bush did not like broccoli and was quoted as saying, “I am the President of the United States ….”

After leaving office Bush and his wife Barbara have settled in Texas, with summers in Maine. They both continue to be active. In 2004 both Bush and Clinton both focused on fundraising for the tsunami victims.

George Bush Facts

  • President No.: 41th
  • Served: 1989-1993
  • Party: Republican
  • From: Milton, Massachusetts
  • Married: Barbara Pierce Bush
  • Born: June 12, 1924
  • Education: Yale University
  • Jobs Before President: Navy Pilot, businessman, Congressman, United States Ambassador of the United Nations, Ambassador to China, Vice President
  • Height: 6 feet, 2 inches
  • Population at time: 248,718,301
  • Hobbies: Boating, fishing, golf, horseshoes, jogging, tennis
  • Pets: Dogs, English Springer Spaniels named C. Fred and Millie
  • Transportation: Helicopter, airplane, car
  • Communication Methods: Letters, phone, email

Speeches

George Bush Speeches

George Bush State of the Union Addresses


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