George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush

Fun Facts

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  • In his senior year at high school, Bush was the head cheerleader of his team.

  • In 2005, Bush was nearly assassinated in Georgia by a man named Vladimir Arutyunian, who threw a live grenade at Bush.

  • At the age of 30, Bush was arrested as a result of DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol). He was fined $150 and had his driving license suspended for 2 years.

  • In 1992, while at a formal dinner in Japan, George H.W. Bush became ill and vomited on the prime minister of Japan, and then fainted.

  • He is the 2nd president whose son became President.

Life and Background

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Birth Name: George Herbert Walker Bush

In Office: January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993

Date of Birth: June 12, 1924

Father: Prescott S. Bush - Wealthy businessman and Senator

Mother: Dorothy Walker Bush

Siblings: Three brothers - Prescott Bush, Jonathan Bush, and William "Buck" Bush and one sister - Nancy Ellis

Wife: Barbara Pierce

Children: Four sons and one daughter - George W. Bush: 43rd President of the U.S.; John F. "Jeb" Bush - Governor of Florida; Neil M. Bush; Marvin P. Bush; Dorothy W. "Doro" Bush.

Place of Birth: Milton, Massachusetts

Political Party: Republican

Offices Held:
Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1967-71;
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, 1971-72; Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency, 1976-77

Military Service: Lieutenant and Pilot in the Navy in World War II

  • When he turned 18 and has just graduated from Phillips Academy, he became the youngest aviator in the US Navy and served until the end of the war (Pearl Harbor).

  • He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation from his US Navy Career in World War II.

  • On January 6, 1945 he married Babara Pierce and they had six children.

  • After he was discharged in 1945, he went to Yale and there he graduated as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics

  • After he had graduated from Yale, he moved his family to Texas where he began to work in the oil business starting off as a sales clerk till then he became the president of an offshore drilling company which made him a billionaire.

  • By 1964, he lost to Democratic Senator Ralph Yarborough by a landslide.

  • Later in 1966 and 1968, he was elected into the House of Representative from the 7th District of Texas but later he lost his 2nd attempt of winning the Senate seat in 1970 to a Democrat Lloyd Bentsen.

US Presidential Election of 1989

Before George H.W. Bush has his day of becoming president, he ran for President in 1980 against Ronald Reagan, who was the former governor of California. He attended 850 political events and traveled more than 250,00 miles to campaign. Sadly, he lost most of the votes and decided to dropped out in May. But then, Ronald Reagan chose Bush as his vice president, which helped Ronald Reagan to win the presidential ticket of 1980. The duo then again won in 1984 and then on 1985, he served as an acting president due to that President Reagan underwent surgery. After 8 years of becoming vice president, in 1988, George H.W. Bush ran for President. Before George H.W. Bush was the official Republican presidential nominee, he used television commercials to win against his competitors for the Republican presidential nomination which included U.S. Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, U.S. Representative of N.Y. Jack Kemp , former governor Pete Delaware, and Pat Robertson.

Because of the Republican National Convention was happening soon, there were lots of speculation on whom would he choose as his running mate. Bush chose an unwell-known U.S. senator Dan Quayle of Indiana as his running mate. The election of 1989 was known as a chance for both major parties to race against each other and one of the nastiest election. The Republican nomination was Reagan's Vice President, George H.W. Bush, while Michael Dukakis, Governor of Massachusetts was the Democrats nomination. Because of Regan's popularity, it helped George H.W. Bush to win most of the polls against M. Dukakis. Surprisingly, Bush delivered a speech which is known as the "Thousand points of light" speech which he describes his vision of America . His pledge that everyone would remember was: "Read my lips: no new taxes".

In the end, Bush won against Dukakis in the Electoral College by 426 to 111 and in the nationwide popular vote, he took 53 % of the ballots cast while Dukakis took 46%.

The victory was by a landslide but Bush became the last Republican to carry the blue states (Maryland, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and California) that favor the Democratic Party in presidential elections.

Foreign Policy and Affairs

"I come before you and assume the Presidency at a moment rich with promise. We live in a peaceful, prosperous time, but we can make it better. For a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by freedom seems reborn; for in man's heart, if not in fact, the day of the dictator is over. The totalitarian era is passing, its old ideas blown away like leaves from an ancient, lifeless tree. A new breeze is blowing, and a nation refreshed by freedom stands ready to push on. There is new ground to be broken, and new action to be taken."

George H.W. Bush
was more successful in his foreign policy rather than his domestic policy. He had a strong team of advisers which helped him to achieve significant accomplishments. he focused most of his attention on the foreign affairs. One of the best foreign policy was trying to remove Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega from power because he was believed to be spying for Fidel Castro and secretly transporting drugs into the United by using Panama as the en route. Bush then sent in troops to remove him from power after he covered up a military coup attempt and protests against him in Panama. Not only that, the major reason that Bush sent in troops was that a U.S. serviceman was shot by Panamanian forces. It was called the Operation Just Cause and the result from this was that the U.S. was able to control Panama and Endara who was elected president but then the government declined the result was able to become the President. As for Noriega, he was imprisoned and charged with drug trafficking.

Besides this, Bush was able to develop a relationship with the Soviet Union at the end of the Berlin Wall in 1989. He met up with Soviet General Gorbachev in a conference in Malta to have a talk with Bush. The talk was about nuclear war and it was an important one because Gorbachev said that he guaranteed the U.S. president that the Soviet Union would not start a hot war against the US again. This helps assured that the Cold War was going to be over. Then in 1991, Bush and Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow which assured that the U.S. and USSR would reduced their nuclear weapons by thirty-five percent over seven years and that the USSR would reduce half of their intercontinental ballistic missiles. Then in 1991 after the disbanding of the USSR, Gorbachev and Bush marked the end of the Cold War by declaring a US-Russian strategic partnership. This also allows to lay a path for the solving problems and for the U.S. and Soviet to cooperate during the Persian Gulf War.

Last, but not least is the Persian Gulf War that Bush had solved on military operations. But this foreign policy, would be questioned and disastrous in the future. Although Bush had succeed in forcing the Iraqi to withdraw from Kuwait and that the Kuwait's government would be restored, but he made a mistake of letting Saddam Hussein to still have power. Even though he sent troops and attack Hussein's army, he ordered the troops to stop. Many people were criticizing Bush for not overthrowing the Iraqi government claiming that he wanted to lessen the number of American soldier's lives that would be lost. Moreover, Bush also drew a plan of a North American Free Trade Agreement that would allowed them to use with Canada and Mexico. Because of this, the U.S. economy went up fifty-four percent and there was a significant lower unemployment rate.

Domestic Policy and Affairs

Bush's outstanding achievement for his domestic policy were the Americans with Disabilities Act, Clean Air Act of 1990. Other major legislation signed were the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

His Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 allowed protections against races to Americans with disabilities. It is alike to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Meanwhile, the Clear Air Act was enforce over the nation which sets the limit of how air pollution in America and a cleaner way of burning fuels. The Environmental Protection Agency sets the limit which is to make sure that Americans have a good health and to solve the pollution in air. This later helped influenced the pollution in countries such as Mexico and Canada.

On the Civil Rights Act of 1991, it is a better and improved Civil Rights Act of 1964 with some modification. It allowed people to have the right to trail by jury on discrimination and it was passed for employer discrimination that they can still ask for the expenses of their attorney if they are found to be discriminated. Not only that, he also signed the Immigration Act of 1990 which helped increased immigration by forty percent.

Besides this, he also tried to help the American economy but failed to keep his promise that he had promised early to the American citizens. He raise the tax revenues and during the budget deal which was the point where American was in a meek recession, he signed an additional benefits for unemployed workers. Even though Bush tried to help, it seems to worsen and this affected his popularity among the Republicans and was advised by his advisors to stop helping the American economy.


George H.W. Bush was a man of accomplishments. Although he did not succeeded in winning the national presidential election in his first attempt, he did accomplished a lot of things. He served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States, Director of the Council of Foreign Relations, 11th Director of the Central Intelligence, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office to the People's Republic of China, 48th Chairman of the Republican National Committee, 10th U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas seventh's congressional district, and lastly the 41st president of the United States.

Because of his final election campaign that he had lost to Bill Clinton in 1992, he has retired from the public service. He is seen as a "down-to-earth caretaker" president whom is seen as a well-off Ivy League and privileged family background. Conservatives felt that he had betrayed the Reagan Revolution and American citizens felt that he has not keep his promise on not to raise taxes and cut the military spending budget. They felt that he has not done enough about the domestic policies but perhaps he should be honored as a former U.S. president whose eldest son, George W. Bush was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States in 2001. Together with both Bush presidencies, they have spent a lot of time on taking care of foreign affairs dealing with Iraq.

Through time, he had done a lot of honorable thing. He and Bill Clinton had raised money to help the Tsunami victims and was honored by the NIAF for improving the lives of the Americans.
And so for this, he deserves to be seen as a caring president even though people think that he comes from a privileged background.

George H.W. Bush