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Politician & Activist

George H. W. Bush

George Herbert Walker Bush was an American politician and businessman who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993.

A member of the Republican Party, Bush also served in the U.S. House of Representatives, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, as Director of Central Intelligence, and as the 43rd vice president.

  • Full name: George Herbert Walker Bush
  • Profession: American politician
  • 41st U.S. President
  • Born: 12 June 1924, Milton, Massachusetts, United States
  • Died: 30 November 2018, Houston, Texas, United States
  • Vice president: Dan Quayle (1989–1993)
  • Presidential term: 20 January 1989 – 20 January 1993
  • Buried: 6 December 2018, George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, Texas, United States
  • Battles/wars: World War II

About George H. W. Bush

George Herbert Walker Bush was born on 12 June 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts, United States. He was the second son of Prescott Bush and Dorothy (Walker) Bush.

His paternal grandfather, Samuel P. Bush, worked as an executive for a railroad parts company in Columbus, Ohio, and his maternal grandfather, George Herbert Walker, led Wall Street investment bank W. A. Harriman & Co. Bush was named after his maternal grandfather, who was known as “Pop”, and young Bush was called “Poppy” as a tribute to his namesake.

The Bush family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut in 1925, and Prescott took a position with W. A. Harriman & Co. (which later merged into Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.) the following year.

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Bush spent most of his childhood in Greenwich, at the family vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine, or at his maternal grandparents’ plantation in South Carolina.

Because of the family’s wealth, Bush was largely unaffected by the Great Depression, a major economic downturn that led to high levels of unemployment for much of the 1930s.

He attended Greenwich Country Day School from 1929 to 1937 and Phillips Academy, an elite private academy in Andover, Massachusetts, from 1937 to 1942.

While at Phillips Academy, he served as president of the senior class, secretary of the student council, president of the community fund-raising group, a member of the editorial board of the school newspaper, and captain of the varsity baseball and soccer teams.

Career

Bush was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut and attended Phillips Academy before serving in the United States Navy during World War II.

After the war, he graduated from Yale University and moved to West Texas, where he established a successful oil company.

After an unsuccessful run for the United States Senate, he won election to the 7th congressional district of Texas in 1966.

President Richard Nixon appointed Bush to the position of Ambassador to the United Nations in 1971 and to the position of chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1973.

In 1974, President Gerald Ford appointed him as the Chief of the Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China, and in 1976 Bush became the Director of Central Intelligence.

Bush ran for president in 1980, but was defeated in the Republican presidential primaries by Ronald Reagan. He was then elected vice president in 1980 and 1984 as Reagan’s running mate.

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In the 1988 presidential election, Bush defeated Democrat Michael Dukakis, becoming the first incumbent vice president to be elected president in 152 years.

Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency, as he navigated the final years of the Cold War and played a key role in the reunification of Germany.

Bush presided over the invasion of Panama and the Gulf War, ending the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in the latter conflict.

Though the agreement was not ratified until after he left office, Bush negotiated and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which created a trade bloc consisting of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Domestically, Bush reneged on a 1988 campaign promise by signing a bill that increased taxes and helped reduce the federal budget deficit.

He also signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and appointed David Souter and Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.

Bush lost the 1992 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton following an economic recession and the decreased emphasis of foreign policy in a post–Cold War political climate.

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After leaving office in 1993, Bush was active in humanitarian activities, often working alongside Clinton, his former opponent. With George W.

Bush’s victory in the 2000 presidential election, Bush and his son became the second father–son pair to serve as the nation’s president, following John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

Another son, Jeb Bush, unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in the 2016 Republican primaries.

After a long battle with vascular Parkinson’s disease, Bush died at his home on November 30, 2018. Historians generally rank Bush as an above average president.