George H. W. Bush
Overview
 
George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1989–93). He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 (1981–89), a congressman
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence
Director of Central Intelligence
The Office of United States Director of Central Intelligence was the head of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, the principal intelligence advisor to the President and the National Security Council, and the coordinator of intelligence activities among and between the various United...

.

Bush was born in Milton
Milton, Massachusetts
Milton is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States and part of the Greater Boston area. The population was 27,003 at the 2010 census. Milton is the birthplace of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and architect Buckminster Fuller. Milton also has the highest percentage of...

, Massachusetts, to Senator Prescott Bush
Prescott Bush
Prescott Sheldon Bush was a Wall Street executive banker and a United States Senator, representing Connecticut from 1952 until January 1963. He was the father of George H. W. Bush and the grandfather of George W...

 and Dorothy Walker Bush
Dorothy Walker Bush
Dorothy Wear Walker Bush , mother to 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, and the grandmother of 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. Time on her death wrote that "George Bush was shaped and tempered by his mother's nature." Dorothy Bush raised her five children...

.
Discussions
Timeline

1989    Cold War: In a meeting off the coast of Malta, US President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev release statements indicating that the cold war between their nations may be coming to an end.

1990    President George H. W. Bush posthumously awards Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal.

1990    George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev sign a treaty to end chemical weapon production.

1990    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is signed into law by President George H. W. Bush.

1991    Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that "Kuwait is liberated".

1992    A 'joint understanding' agreement on arms reduction is signed by U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin (this would be later codified in START II).

1992    Somali Civil War: President George H. W. Bush orders 28,000 US troops to Somalia in Northeast Africa.

1993    In Moscow, George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

Quotations

It is possible to tell things by a handshake. I like the "looking in the eye" syndrome. It conveys interest. I like the firm, though not bone crushing shake. The bone crusher is trying too hard to "macho it.: The clammy or diffident handshake — fairly or unfairly — get me off to a bad start with a person.

Letter to Gary Hanauser (18 September 1979), as quoted in All the Best, George Bush : My Life in Letters and Other Writings (2000), p. 282

It just isn't going to work, and it's very interesting that the man who invested this type of what I call a voodoo economic policy...

Speech at Carnegie Mellon University (10 April 1980), allegedly referring to Ronald Reagan

You don't have to go to college to be a success ... We need the people who run the offices, the people who do the hard physical work of our society.

Statement to the students of East Los Angeles' Garfield High School (5 May 1988)

This is America: the Knights of Columbus, the Grange, Hadassah, the Disabled American Veterans, the Order of Ahepa, the Business and Professional Women of America, the union hall, the Bible study group, LULAC, "Holy Name"—a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.

Speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention (18 August 1988)

This is Pearl Harbor Day. Forty-seven years ago to this very day, we were hit and hit hard at Pearl Harbor.

Bush addressing the American Legion in Louisville, Kentucky (7 September 1988), three months prior to the actual anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor (7 December 1941).

Encyclopedia
George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1989–93). He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 (1981–89), a congressman
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence
Director of Central Intelligence
The Office of United States Director of Central Intelligence was the head of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, the principal intelligence advisor to the President and the National Security Council, and the coordinator of intelligence activities among and between the various United...

.

Bush was born in Milton
Milton, Massachusetts
Milton is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States and part of the Greater Boston area. The population was 27,003 at the 2010 census. Milton is the birthplace of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and architect Buckminster Fuller. Milton also has the highest percentage of...

, Massachusetts, to Senator Prescott Bush
Prescott Bush
Prescott Sheldon Bush was a Wall Street executive banker and a United States Senator, representing Connecticut from 1952 until January 1963. He was the father of George H. W. Bush and the grandfather of George W...

 and Dorothy Walker Bush
Dorothy Walker Bush
Dorothy Wear Walker Bush , mother to 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, and the grandmother of 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. Time on her death wrote that "George Bush was shaped and tempered by his mother's nature." Dorothy Bush raised her five children...

. Following the attacks on Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

 in 1941, at the age of 18, Bush postponed going to college and became the youngest aviator
Naval Aviator
A United States Naval Aviator is a qualified pilot in the United States Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard.-Naming Conventions:Most Naval Aviators are Unrestricted Line Officers; however, a small number of Limited Duty Officers and Chief Warrant Officers are also trained as Naval Aviators.Until 1981...

 in the US Navy at the time. He served until the end of the war, then attended Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

. Graduating in 1948, he moved his family to West Texas
West Texas
West Texas is a vernacular term applied to a region in the southwestern quadrant of the United States that primarily encompasses the arid and semi-arid lands in the western portion of the state of Texas....

 and entered the oil business
Petroleum industry
The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting , and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline...

, becoming a millionaire by the age of 40.

He became involved in politics soon after founding his own oil company, serving as a member of the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, among other positions. He ran unsuccessfully for president of the United States in 1980
United States presidential election, 1980
The United States presidential election of 1980 featured a contest between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan, as well as Republican Congressman John B. Anderson, who ran as an independent...

, but was chosen by party nominee Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 to be the vice presidential nominee, and the two were subsequently elected. During his tenure, Bush headed administration task forces on deregulation and fighting drug abuse.

In 1988, Bush launched a successful campaign to succeed Reagan as president, defeating Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 opponent Michael Dukakis
Michael Dukakis
Michael Stanley Dukakis served as the 65th and 67th Governor of Massachusetts from 1975–1979 and from 1983–1991, and was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988. He was born to Greek immigrants in Brookline, Massachusetts, also the birthplace of John F. Kennedy, and was the longest serving...

. Foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 drove the Bush presidency; military operations were conducted in Panama
United States invasion of Panama
The United States Invasion of Panama, code-named Operation Just Cause, was the invasion of Panama by the United States in December 1989. It occurred during the administration of U.S. President George H. W...

 and the Persian Gulf
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 at a time of world change; the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 dissolved two years later. Domestically, Bush reneged on a 1988 campaign promise
Read my lips: no new taxes
"Read my lips: no new taxes" is a now-famous phrase spoken by then presidential candidate George H. W. Bush at the 1988 Republican National Convention as he accepted the nomination on August 18. Written by speechwriter Peggy Noonan, the line was the most prominent sound bite from the speech...

 and after a struggle with Congress, signed an increase in taxes that Congress had passed. In the wake of economic concerns, he lost the 1992 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1992
The United States presidential election of 1992 had three major candidates: Incumbent Republican President George Bush; Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and independent Texas businessman Ross Perot....

 to Democrat Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

.

Bush is the father of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, the 43rd President of the United States, and Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush
John Ellis "Jeb" Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He is a prominent member of the Bush family: the second son of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush; the younger brother of former President George W...

, former Governor of Florida. He is the most recent president to have been a World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 veteran, and will arguably be the last to do so. Until the election of his son George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 to the presidency in 2000, Bush was commonly referred to simply as "George Bush"; since that time, the forms "George H. W. Bush", "Bush 41", "Bush the Elder", and "George Bush, Sr." have come into common use as a way to distinguish the father from the son.

Early years

George Herbert Walker Bush was born at 173 Adams Street in Milton
Milton, Massachusetts
Milton is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States and part of the Greater Boston area. The population was 27,003 at the 2010 census. Milton is the birthplace of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and architect Buckminster Fuller. Milton also has the highest percentage of...

, Massachusetts on June 12, 1924 to Prescott Sheldon Bush
Prescott Bush
Prescott Sheldon Bush was a Wall Street executive banker and a United States Senator, representing Connecticut from 1952 until January 1963. He was the father of George H. W. Bush and the grandfather of George W...

 and Dorothy Walker Bush
Dorothy Walker Bush
Dorothy Wear Walker Bush , mother to 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, and the grandmother of 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. Time on her death wrote that "George Bush was shaped and tempered by his mother's nature." Dorothy Bush raised her five children...

. The Bush family moved from Milton to Greenwich
Greenwich, Connecticut
Greenwich is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 61,171. It is home to many hedge funds and other financial service companies. Greenwich is the southernmost and westernmost municipality in Connecticut and is 38+ minutes ...

, Connecticut shortly after his birth.

Bush began his formal education at the Greenwich Country Day School
Greenwich Country Day School
The Greenwich Country Day School is a co-educational, independent day school in Greenwich, Connecticut, founded in 1926. As of 2005, it has some 840 students from nursery to the 9th grade level....

 in Greenwich. Beginning in 1936, he attended Phillips Academy
Phillips Academy
Phillips Academy is a selective, co-educational independent boarding high school for boarding and day students in grades 9–12, along with a post-graduate year...

 in Andover
Andover, Massachusetts
Andover is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. It was incorporated in 1646 and as of the 2010 census, the population was 33,201...

, Massachusetts, where he held a large number of leadership positions including being the president of the senior class and 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 both the varsity baseball and soccer teams.

World War II

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

 in December 1941, Bush decided to join the US Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, so after graduating from Phillips Academy earlier in 1942, he became a naval aviator
Naval Aviator
A United States Naval Aviator is a qualified pilot in the United States Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard.-Naming Conventions:Most Naval Aviators are Unrestricted Line Officers; however, a small number of Limited Duty Officers and Chief Warrant Officers are also trained as Naval Aviators.Until 1981...

 at the age of 18. After completing the 10-month course, he was commissioned as an ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

 in the U.S. Naval Reserve at Corpus Christi
Naval Air Station Corpus Christi
Naval Air Station Corpus Christi , also known as Truax Field, is a naval base located six miles southeast of the central business district of Corpus Christi, in Nueces County, Texas, USA.-History:...

, Texas on June 9, 1943, just three days before his 19th birthday, which made him the youngest naval aviator to that date.

He was assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT-51) as the photographic officer in September 1943. The following year, his squadron was based on the as a member of Air Group 51, where his lanky physique earned him the nickname 'Skin'. During this time, the task force was victorious in one of the largest air battles of World War II: the Battle of the Philippine Sea
Battle of the Philippine Sea
The Battle of the Philippine Sea was a decisive naval battle of World War II which effectively eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. It took place during the United States' amphibious invasion of the Mariana Islands during the Pacific War...

.

After Bush's promotion to Lieutenant (junior grade) on August 1, the San Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands. Bush piloted one of four Grumman TBM Avenger aircraft from VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chichijima. His crew for the mission, which occurred on September 2, 1944, included Radioman Second Class John Delaney and Lieutenant Junior Grade William White. During their attack, the Avengers encountered intense anti-aircraft fire; Bush's aircraft was hit by flak and his engine caught on fire. Despite his plane being on fire, Bush completed his attack and released bombs over his target, scoring several damaging hits. With his engine afire, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member on the TBM Avenger bailed out of the aircraft; the other man's parachute
Parachute
A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag, or in the case of ram-air parachutes, aerodynamic lift. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong cloth, originally silk, now most commonly nylon...

 did not open. It has not been determined which man bailed out with Bush as both Delaney and White were killed as a result of the battle. Bush waited for four hours in an inflated raft, while several fighters circled protectively overhead until he was rescued by the lifeguard submarine . For the next month he remained on the Finback, and participated in the rescue of other pilots.

Bush subsequently returned to San Jacinto in November 1944 and participated in operations in the Philippines until his squadron was replaced and sent home to the United States. Through 1944, he flew 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918." The...

, three Air Medal
Air Medal
The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States. The award was created in 1942, and is awarded for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.-Criteria:...

s, and the Presidential Unit Citation
Presidential Unit Citation (US)
The Presidential Unit Citation, originally called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and allies for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941...

 awarded to San Jacinto.

Because of his valuable combat experience, Bush was reassigned to Norfolk Navy Base
Naval Station Norfolk
Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia, is a base of the United States Navy, supporting naval forces in the United States Fleet Forces Command, those operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean...

 and put in a training wing for new torpedo pilots. He was later assigned as a naval aviator in a new torpedo squadron, VT-153, based at Naval Air Station Grosse Ile
Naval Air Station Grosse Ile
Naval Air Station Grosse Ile was a Naval air station located on the southern tip of Grosse Ile, Michigan. It operated from 1927 until late 1969, and is now a township airport. During World War II NASGI was one of the largest primary flight training stations for Naval aviators, and RAF pilots...

, Michigan. Upon the Japanese surrender in 1945, Bush was honorably discharged in September of that year.

Marriage and college years

George Bush married Barbara Pierce
Barbara Bush
Barbara Pierce Bush is the wife of the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She is the mother of the 43rd President George W. Bush and of the 43rd Governor of Florida Jeb Bush...

 on January 6, 1945, only weeks after his return from the Pacific. The couple's first residence was a small rented apartment in Trenton, Michigan
Trenton, Michigan
Trenton is a small city in Wayne County in the southeast portion of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 18,853...

, near Bush's Navy assignment at NAS Grosse Ile. Their marriage produced six children: George Walker Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 (born 1946), Pauline Robinson Bush ("Robin", 1949–1953, died of leukemia
Leukemia
Leukemia or leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases...

), John Ellis "Jeb" Bush
Jeb Bush
John Ellis "Jeb" Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He is a prominent member of the Bush family: the second son of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush; the younger brother of former President George W...

 (born 1953), Neil Mallon Bush
Neil Bush
Neil Mallon Bush is the fourth of six children of former President George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Bush . His five siblings are George Walker Bush, the former President of the United States; Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida; Robin Bush, who died of leukemia in 1953 at the age of...

 (born 1955), Marvin Pierce Bush (born 1956), and Dorothy Bush Koch
Dorothy Bush Koch
Dorothy Walker Bush Koch, often called "Doro", , is the daughter of the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, and the youngest sibling of George W. Bush, the 43rd President...

 (born 1959).

Bush had been accepted to Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 prior to his enlistment in the military, and took up the offer after his discharge and marriage. While at Yale, he was enrolled in an accelerated program that allowed him to graduate in two and a half years, rather than four. He was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon is a fraternity founded at Yale College in 1844 by 15 men of the sophomore class who had not been invited to join the two existing societies...

 fraternity and was elected president. He also captained the Yale baseball team, and as a left-handed first baseman
First baseman
First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner in order to score a run for that player's team...

, played in the first two College World Series
College World Series
The College World Series or CWS is an annual baseball tournament held in Omaha, Nebraska that is the culmination of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, which determines the NCAA Division I college baseball champion. The eight teams are split into two, four-team, double-elimination brackets,...

. As the team captain, Bush met Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth
George Herman Ruth, Jr. , best known as "Babe" Ruth and nicknamed "the Bambino" and "the Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914–1935...

 before a game during his senior year. Late in his junior year he was, like his father Prescott Bush
Prescott Bush
Prescott Sheldon Bush was a Wall Street executive banker and a United States Senator, representing Connecticut from 1952 until January 1963. He was the father of George H. W. Bush and the grandfather of George W...

 (1917), initiated into the Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones is an undergraduate senior or secret society at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. It is a traditional peer society to Scroll and Key and Wolf's Head, as the three senior class 'landed societies' at Yale....

 secret society
Secret society
A secret society is a club or organization whose activities and inner functioning are concealed from non-members. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence. The term usually excludes covert groups, such as intelligence agencies or guerrilla insurgencies, which hide their...

. He graduated as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa from Yale in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.

Business career

After graduating from Yale, Bush moved his family to West Texas
West Texas
West Texas is a vernacular term applied to a region in the southwestern quadrant of the United States that primarily encompasses the arid and semi-arid lands in the western portion of the state of Texas....

. His father's business connections proved useful when he ventured into the oil business, starting as a sales clerk with Dresser Industries
Dresser Industries
Dresser Industries was a multinational corporation headquartered in Dallas, Texas, United States, which provided a wide range of technology, products, and services used for developing energy and natural resources...

, a subsidiary of Brown Brothers Harriman. His father had served on the board of directors there for 22 years. Bush started the Bush-Overby Oil Development company in 1951 and co-founded the Zapata Petroleum Corporation, an oil company which drilled in the Permian Basin in Texas, two years later. He was named president of the Zapata Offshore Company, a subsidiary which specialized in offshore drilling
Offshore drilling
Offshore drilling refers to a mechanical process where a wellbore is drilled through the seabed. It is typically carried out in order to explore for and subsequently produce hydrocarbons which lie in rock formations beneath the seabed...

, in 1954. The subsidiary became independent in 1958, so Bush moved the company from Midland
Midland, Texas
Midland is a city in and the county seat of Midland County, Texas, United States, on the Southern Plains of the state's western area. A small portion of the city extends into Martin County. As of 2010, the population of Midland was 111,147. It is the principal city of the Midland, Texas...

, Texas to Houston. He continued serving as president of the company until 1964, and later chairman until 1966, but his ambitions turned political. By that time, Bush had become a millionaire.

Congressional years

Bush served as Chairman of the Republican Party for Harris County, Texas in 1964, but wanted to be more involved in policy making, so he set his stakes high: he aimed for a US Senate seat from Texas. After winning the Republican primary, Bush faced his opponent, incumbent Democrat Ralph W. Yarborough. Yarborough attacked Bush as a right-wing extremist, and Bush lost the general election. Bush's ticket mate, Jack Crichton
Jack Crichton (Texas businessman)
John Alston Crichton, known as Jack Crichton , was an oil and natural gas industrialist from Dallas, Texas, who was among the first of his ranks to recognize the importance of petroleum reserves in the Middle East. In 1964, he carried the Republican banner in a fruitless campaign against the...

 of Dallas, lost by a much wider margin in the same election to Governor John B. Connally, Jr. Bush and Crichton had shared some of the same podiums in the campaign.

Bush was elected in 1966 to a House of Representatives seat
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 from the 7th District of Texas, defeating Democrat Frank Briscoe with 57% of the vote; he became the first Republican to represent Houston. His voting record in the House was generally conservative
American conservatism
Conservatism in the United States has played an important role in American politics since the 1950s. Historian Gregory Schneider identifies several constants in American conservatism: respect for tradition, support of republicanism, preservation of "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and...

: Bush voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1968
Civil Rights Act of 1968
On April 11, 1968 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 is commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, or as CRA '68, and was meant as a follow-up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964...

, although it was generally unpopular in his district. He supported the Nixon administration
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

's Vietnam policies
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, but broke with Republicans on the issue of birth control
Birth control
Birth control is an umbrella term for several techniques and methods used to prevent fertilization or to interrupt pregnancy at various stages. Birth control techniques and methods include contraception , contragestion and abortion...

. Despite being a first-term congressman, Bush was appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, where he voted to abolish the military draft. He was elected to a second term in 1968.

In 1970, Nixon convinced Bush to relinquish his House seat to again run for the Senate against Ralph Yarborough, a fierce Nixon critic. In the Republican primary, Bush easily defeated conservative Robert J. Morris
Robert J. Morris
Robert John Morris was an American anti-Communist activist who served as chief counsel to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security from 1951 to 1953 and from 1956 to 1958, was President of the University of Dallas and founded the now-defunct University of Plano.-Biography:Morris...

, by a margin of 87.6 percent to 12.4 percent. However, former Congressman Lloyd Bentsen
Lloyd Bentsen
Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr. was a four-term United States senator from Texas and the Democratic Party nominee for Vice President in 1988 on the Michael Dukakis ticket. He also served in the House of Representatives from 1949 to 1955. In his later political life, he was Chairman of the Senate...

, a more moderate Democrat and native of Mission
Mission, Texas
Mission is a city in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States. The population was 77,058 at the 2010 census Mission is part of the McAllen–Edinburg–Mission and Reynosa–McAllen metropolitan areas.-Geography:Mission is located at ....

 in south Texas, defeated Yarborough in the Democratic primary. Yarborough then endorsed Bentsen, who defeated Bush, 53.4 to 46.6 percent. Nixon came to Texas to campaign in Longview
Longview, Texas
Longview is a city in Gregg and Harrison Counties in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 80,455. Most of the city is located in Gregg County, of which it is the county seat; only a small part extends into the western part of neighboring Harrison County. It is...

 for Bush and his gubernatorial ticket-mate, Paul Eggers
Paul Eggers
Paul Walter Eggers is an Indiana native who was the Republican nominee for governor of Texas in both 1968 and 1970, when the state still had two-year gubernatorial terms. Eggers' races for governor were his only attempts at elected office...

, a Dallas lawyer who was a close friend of U.S. Senator John G. Tower.

Ambassador to the United Nations

Following his 1970 loss, Bush was well known as a prominent Republican businessman from the "Sun Belt
Sun Belt
The Sun Belt or Spanish Belt is a region of the United States generally considered to stretch across the South and Southwest . Another rough boundary of the region is the area south of the 36th parallel, north latitude. It is the largest region which the U.S government does not recognize officially...

", a group of states in the Southern part of the country. Nixon noticed and appreciated the sacrifice Bush had made of his Congressional position, so he appointed him Ambassador to the United Nations. He was confirmed unanimously by the Senate, and served for two years, beginning in 1971.

Chairman of the Republican National Committee

Amidst the Watergate scandal
Watergate scandal
The Watergate scandal was a political scandal during the 1970s in the United States resulting from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement...

, Nixon asked Bush to become chairman of the Republican National Committee
Republican National Committee
The Republican National Committee is an American political committee that provides national leadership for the Republican Party of the United States. It is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy. It is...

 in 1973. Bush accepted, and held this position when the popularity of both Nixon and the Republican Party plummeted. He defended Nixon steadfastly, but later as Nixon's complicity became clear, Bush focused more on defending the Republican Party, while still maintaining loyalty to Nixon. As chairman, Bush formally requested that Nixon eventually resign for the good of the Republican party. Nixon did this on August 9, 1974; Bush noted in his diary that "There was an aura of sadness, like somebody died... The [resignation] speech was vintage Nixon—a kick or two at the press—enormous strains. One couldn't help but look at the family and the whole thing and think of his accomplishments and then think of the shame... [Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

's swearing-in offered] indeed a new spirit, a new lift."

Envoy to China

Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

, Nixon's successor, appointed Bush to be Chief of the US Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China. Since the United States at the time maintained official relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan and not the People's Republic of China, the Liaison Office did not have the official status of an embassy and Bush did not formally hold the position of "ambassador", though he unofficially acted as one. The time that he spent in China – 14 months – was seen as largely beneficial for US-Chinese relations.

After Ford's accession to the presidency, Bush was under serious consideration for being nominated as Vice President. Ford eventually narrowed his list to Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

 and Bush. However, White House Chief of Staff
White House Chief of Staff
The White House Chief of Staff is the highest ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States and a senior aide to the President.The current White House Chief of Staff is Bill Daley.-History:...

 Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

 reportedly preferred Rockefeller over Bush. Rockefeller was finally named and confirmed.

Director of Central Intelligence

In 1976, Ford brought Bush back to Washington to become Director of Central Intelligence
Director of Central Intelligence
The Office of United States Director of Central Intelligence was the head of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, the principal intelligence advisor to the President and the National Security Council, and the coordinator of intelligence activities among and between the various United...

, replacing William Colby
William Colby
William Egan Colby spent a career in intelligence for the United States, culminating in holding the post of Director of Central Intelligence from September 1973, to January 1976....

. He served in this role for 357 days, from January 30, 1976 to January 20, 1977. The CIA had been rocked by a series of revelations, including those based on investigations by the Church Committee
Church Committee
The Church Committee is the common term referring to the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a U.S. Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church in 1975. A precursor to the U.S...

 regarding illegal and unauthorized activities by the CIA, and Bush was credited with helping to restore the agency's morale. In his capacity as DCI, Bush gave national security briefings to Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 both as a Presidential candidate and as President-elect, and discussed the possibility of remaining in that position in a Carter administration but it was not to be.

Other positions

After a Democratic administration took power in 1977, Bush became chairman on the Executive Committee of the First International Bank in Houston. He later spent a year as a part-time professor of Administrative Science at Rice University
Rice University
William Marsh Rice University, commonly referred to as Rice University or Rice, is a private research university located on a heavily wooded campus in Houston, Texas, United States...

's Jones School of Business beginning in 1978, the year it opened; Bush said of his time there, "I loved my brief time in the world of academia." Between 1977 and 1979, he was a director of the Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

 foreign policy organization.

1980 presidential campaign

Bush had decided in the late 1970s that he was going to run for president in 1980; in 1979, he attended 850 political events and traveled more than 250000 miles (402,335 km) to campaign for the nation's highest office. In the contest for the Republican Party nomination, Bush stressed his wide range of government experience, while competing against rivals Senator Howard Baker
Howard Baker
Howard Henry Baker, Jr. is a former Senate Majority Leader, Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee, White House Chief of Staff, and a former United States Ambassador to Japan.Known in Washington, D.C...

 of Tennessee, Senator Bob Dole
Bob Dole
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole is an American attorney and politician. Dole represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996, was Gerald Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in the 1976 presidential election, and was Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1987 and in 1995 and 1996...

 of Kansas, Congressman John Anderson
John B. Anderson
John Bayard Anderson is a former United States Congressman and Presidential candidate from Illinois. He was a U.S. Representative from the 16th Congressional District of Illinois for ten terms from 1961 through 1981 and an Independent candidate in the 1980 presidential election. He was previously...

 of Illinois (who would later run as an independent), Congressman Phil Crane
Phil Crane
Philip Miller "Phil" Crane is a former American politician. He was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1969 to 2005, representing the 8th District of Illinois in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago...

, also of Illinois, former Governor John Connally
John Connally
John Bowden Connally, Jr. , was an influential American politician, serving as the 39th governor of Texas, Secretary of the Navy under President John F. Kennedy, and as Secretary of the Treasury under President Richard M. Nixon. While he was Governor in 1963, Connally was a passenger in the car in...

 of Texas, and the front-runner Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, former actor and Governor of California
Governor of California
The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State addresses to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced...

.

In the primary election, Bush focused almost entirely on the Iowa caucuses, while Reagan ran a more traditional campaign. Bush represented the centrist wing in the GOP, whereas Reagan represented conservatives. Bush famously labeled Reagan's supply side
Supply-side economics
Supply-side economics is a school of macroeconomic thought that argues that economic growth can be most effectively created by lowering barriers for people to produce goods and services, such as lowering income tax and capital gains tax rates, and by allowing greater flexibility by reducing...

-influenced plans for massive tax cut
Tax cut
A tax cut is a reduction in taxes. The immediate effects of a tax cut are a decrease in the real income of the government and an increase in the real income of those whose tax rate has been lowered. Due to the perceived benefit in growing real incomes among tax payers politicians have sought to...

s "voodoo economics
Reaganomics
Reaganomics refers to the economic policies promoted by the U.S. President Ronald Reagan during the 1980s, also known as supply-side economics and called trickle-down economics, particularly by critics...

". His strategy proved useful, to some degree, as he won in Iowa with 31.5 percent to Reagan's 29.4 percent. After the win, Bush stated that his campaign was full of momentum, or "Big Mo". As a result of the loss, Reagan replaced his campaign manager
Campaign manager
A campaign manager is a paid or volunteer individual, whose role is to coordinate the campaign's operations such as fundraising, advertising, polling, getting out the vote , and other activities supporting the effort, directly.Apart from the candidate, they are often a campaign's most visible leader...

, reorganized his staff, and concentrated on the New Hampshire primary
New Hampshire primary
The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide political party primary elections held in the United States every four years , as part of the process of choosing the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November.Although only a...

. The two men agreed to a debate in the state, organized by the Nashua Telegraph, but paid for by the Reagan campaign. Reagan invited the other four candidates as well, but Bush refused to debate them, and eventually they left. The debate proved to be a pivotal moment in the campaign; when the moderator, John Breene, ordered Reagan's microphone turned off, his angry response, "I am paying for this microphone Mr. Greene", [sic] struck a chord with the public. Bush ended up losing New Hampshire's primary with 23 percent to Reagan's 50 percent. Bush lost most of the remaining primaries as well, and formally dropped out of the race in May of that year.

With his political future seeming dismal, Bush sold his house in Houston and bought his grandfather's estate in Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport, Maine
Kennebunkport is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,720 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford metropolitan statistical area....

, Maine, known as "Walker's Point". At the Republican Convention, however, Reagan selected Bush as his Vice Presidential nominee, placing him on the winning Republican presidential ticket of 1980.

First Term (1981–1985)

As Vice President, Bush generally took on a low profile while recognizing the constitutional limits of the office; he avoided decision-making or criticizing Reagan in any way. As had become customary, he and his wife moved into the Vice President's residence at Number One Observatory Circle
Number One Observatory Circle
Number One Observatory Circle is the official residence of the Vice President of the United States.Located on the northeast grounds of the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, the house was built in 1893 for its superintendent. The Chief of Naval Operations liked the house so much...

, about two miles from the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. The Bushes attended a large number of public and ceremonial events in their positions, including many state funeral
State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

s, which became a common joke for comedians. Mrs. Bush found the funerals largely beneficial, saying, "George met with many current or future heads of state at the funerals he attended, enabling him to forge personal relationships that were important to President Reagan." As the President of the Senate
President of the Senate
The President of the Senate is a title often given to the presiding officer of a senate, and is the speaker of other assemblies.The senate president often ranks high in a jurisdiction's succession for its top executive office: for example, the President of the Senate of Nigeria is second in line...

, Bush stayed in contact with members of Congress, and kept the president informed on occurrences on Capitol Hill.

On March 30, 1981, early into the administration, Reagan was shot
Reagan assassination attempt
The Reagan assassination attempt occurred on Monday, March 30, 1981, just 69 days into the presidency of Ronald Reagan. While leaving a speaking engagement at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., President Reagan and three others were shot and wounded by John Hinckley, Jr...

 and seriously wounded in Washington, D.C. Bush, second in command by the presidential line of succession, was in Dallas, Texas, and flew back to Washington immediately. Reagan's cabinet convened in the White House Situation Room
White House Situation Room
The White House Situation Room is a conference room and intelligence management center in the basement of the West Wing of the White House. It is run by the National Security Council staff for the use of the President of the United States and his advisors to monitor and deal...

, where they discussed various issues, including the availability of the Nuclear Football
Nuclear Football
The nuclear football is a briefcase, the contents of which are to be used by the President of the United States of America to authorize a nuclear attack while away from fixed command centers, such as the White House Situation Room...

. When Bush's plane landed, his aides advised him to proceed directly to the White House by helicopter, as an image of the government still functioning despite the attack. Bush rejected the idea, responding, "Only the President lands on the South Lawn". This made a positive impression on Reagan, who recovered and returned to work within two weeks. From then on, the two men would have regular Thursday lunches in the Oval Office
Oval Office
The Oval Office, located in the West Wing of the White House, is the official office of the President of the United States.The room features three large south-facing windows behind the president's desk, and a fireplace at the north end...

.

In December 1983 Bush flew to El Salvador and warned that country's military leaders to end their death squads and hold fully free elections or face the loss of U.S. aid. Bush's aides feared for his safety and thought about calling the meeting off when they discovered apparent blood stains on the floor of the presidential palace of Álvaro Magaña
Álvaro Magaña
Álvaro Alfredo Magaña Borja was the President of El Salvador from 1982 to 1984, and member of the Nationalist Republican Alliance . He received his Masters degree from the University of Chicago in 1995. He was a bank president before the election of 1982. He was sworn in by Roberto D'Aubuisson...

. Bush was never told of the aides' concerns and a tense meeting was held in which some of Magaña's personnel brandished semiautomatic weapons and refused requests to take them outside.

Bush was assigned by Reagan to chair two special task forces, on deregulation
Deregulation
Deregulation is the removal or simplification of government rules and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces.Deregulation is the removal or simplification of government rules and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces.Deregulation is the removal or...

 and international drug smuggling. The deregulation task force reviewed hundreds of rules, making specific recommendations on which ones to amend or revise, in order to curb the size of the federal government. The drug smuggling task force coordinated federal efforts to reduce the quantity of drugs entering the US. Both were popular issues with conservatives, and Bush, largely a moderate, began courting them through his work.

Second Term (1985–1989)

Reagan and Bush ran for reelection in 1984
United States presidential election, 1984
The United States presidential election of 1984 was a contest between the incumbent President Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate, and former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate. Reagan was helped by a strong economic recovery from the deep recession of 1981–1982...

. The Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 opponent, Walter Mondale
Walter Mondale
Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale is an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States , under President Jimmy Carter, and as a United States Senator for Minnesota...

, made history by choosing a woman as his running mate, New York Representative Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Anne Ferraro was an American attorney, a Democratic Party politician, and a member of the United States House of Representatives. She was the first female Vice Presidential candidate representing a major American political party....

. She and Bush squared off in a single televised Vice Presidential debate
1984 Vice Presidential Debate
As part of the 1984 United States presidential election,on October 11, 1984, the Democratic Party nominee for Vice President of the United States, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, and the Republican Party nominee, incumbent Vice President George H.W. Bush, participated in a televised campaign debate...

. Serving as a contrast to the Ivy-League educated Bush, Ferraro represented a "blue-collar" district in Queens
Queens
Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. The largest borough in area and the second-largest in population, it is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United States....

, New York; this, coupled with her popularity among female journalists, left Bush at a disadvantage. However, the Reagan-Bush ticket won in a landslide against the Mondale-Ferraro ticket. Early into his second term as Vice President, Bush and his aides were planning a run for the presidency in 1988. By the end of 1985, a committee had been established and over two million dollars raised for Bush.

Bush became the first Vice President to become Acting President
Acting President of the United States
Acting President of the United States is a reference to a person who is legitimately exercising the Presidential powers even though that person does not hold the office of the President of the United States in his own right....

 when, on July 13, 1985, Reagan underwent surgery to remove polyp
Polyp
A polyp in zoology is one of two forms found in the phylum Cnidaria, the other being the medusa. Polyps are approximately cylindrical in shape and elongated at the axis of the body...

s from his colon
Colon (anatomy)
The colon is the last part of the digestive system in most vertebrates; it extracts water and salt from solid wastes before they are eliminated from the body, and is the site in which flora-aided fermentation of unabsorbed material occurs. Unlike the small intestine, the colon does not play a...

 making Bush Acting President for approximately eight hours.

The Reagan administration was shaken by a scandal in 1986, when it was revealed that administration officials had secretly arranged weapon sales to Iran, and had used the proceeds to fund the anticommunist Contras
Contras
The contras is a label given to the various rebel groups opposing Nicaragua's FSLN Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction government following the July 1979 overthrow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle's dictatorship...

 in Nicaragua, a direct violation of the law. When the Iran-Contra Affair
Iran-Contra Affair
The Iran–Contra affair , also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or Iran-Contra-Gate, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials and President Reagan secretly facilitated the sale of...

, as it became known, broke to the media, Bush, like Reagan, stated that he had been "out of the loop" and unaware of the diversion of funds, although this was later questioned. But his own diaries from that time stated "I'm one of the few people that know fully the details ..." He had repeatedly refused to disclose this to investigators. Public opinion polls taken at the time indicated that the public questioned Bush's explanation of being an "innocent bystander" while the trades were occurring; this led to the notion that he was a "wimp". However, his fury during an interview with CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

's Dan Rather
Dan Rather
Daniel Irvin "Dan" Rather, Jr. is an American journalist and the former news anchor for the CBS Evening News. He is now managing editor and anchor of the television news magazine Dan Rather Reports on the cable channel HDNet. Rather was anchor of the CBS Evening News for 24 years, from March 9,...

 largely put the "wimp" issue to rest.

As Vice President, Bush officially opened the 1987 Pan American Games
1987 Pan American Games
The 1987 Pan American Games, officially known as the X Pan American Games, was a major international multi-sport event which was celebrated in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, from 7 August to 23 August 1987. Over 4,300 athletes from 38 countries in the Americas competed in 30 sports earning...

 in Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

.

1988 presidential campaign

Bush had been planning a presidential run since as early as 1985, and entered the Republican primary for President of the United States in October 1987. His challengers for the Republican presidential nomination included US Senator Bob Dole
Bob Dole
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole is an American attorney and politician. Dole represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996, was Gerald Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in the 1976 presidential election, and was Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1987 and in 1995 and 1996...

 of Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, US Representative Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp
Jack French Kemp was an American politician and a collegiate and professional football player. A Republican, he served as Housing Secretary in the administration of President George H. W. Bush from 1989 to 1993, having previously served nine terms as a congressman for Western New York's 31st...

 of New York, former Governor Pete DuPont of Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

, and conservative Christian televangelist Pat Robertson
Pat Robertson
Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson is a media mogul, television evangelist, ex-Baptist minister and businessman who is politically aligned with the Christian Right in the United States....

.

Though considered the early frontrunner for the nomination, Bush came in third in the Iowa caucus, behind winner Dole and runner-up Robertson. Much like Reagan did in 1980, Bush reorganized his staff and concentrated on the New Hampshire primary. With Dole ahead in New Hampshire, Bush ran television commercials portraying the senator as a tax raiser; he rebounded to win the state's primary. Bush continued seeing victory, winning many Southern primaries as well. Once the multiple-state primaries such as Super Tuesday began, Bush's organizational strength and fundraising lead were impossible for the other candidates to match, and the nomination was his.

Leading up to the 1988 Republican National Convention
1988 Republican National Convention
The 1988 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana from August 15 to August 18, 1988. It was the second time that a major party held its conclave in one of the five states known as the Deep South, coming on the...

, there was much speculation as to Bush's choice of running mate. Bush chose little-known US Senator Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle
James Danforth "Dan" Quayle served as the 44th Vice President of the United States, serving with President George H. W. Bush . He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the state of Indiana....

 of Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, favored by conservatives. Despite Reagan's popularity, Bush trailed Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis
Michael Dukakis
Michael Stanley Dukakis served as the 65th and 67th Governor of Massachusetts from 1975–1979 and from 1983–1991, and was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988. He was born to Greek immigrants in Brookline, Massachusetts, also the birthplace of John F. Kennedy, and was the longest serving...

, then Governor of Massachusetts
Governor of Massachusetts
The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the executive magistrate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States. The current governor is Democrat Deval Patrick.-Constitutional role:...

, in most polls.
Bush, occasionally criticized for his lack of eloquence when compared to Reagan, delivered a well-received speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention
1988 Republican National Convention
The 1988 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana from August 15 to August 18, 1988. It was the second time that a major party held its conclave in one of the five states known as the Deep South, coming on the...

. Known as the "thousand points of light
Thousand points of light
The Thousand points of light was a recurring phrase in speeches given by George H. W. Bush. The term was coined by speechwriter Peggy Noonan. In his inaugural address on January 20, 1989, Bush said:...

" speech, this described Bush's vision of America: he endorsed the Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of loyalty to the federal flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942...

, prayer in schools
School prayer
School prayer in its common usage refers to state-approved prayer by students in state schools. Depending on the country and the type of school, organized prayer may be required, permitted, or prohibited...

, capital punishment, gun rights, and his opposition to abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

. The speech at the convention included Bush's famous pledge: "Read my lips: no new taxes
Read my lips: no new taxes
"Read my lips: no new taxes" is a now-famous phrase spoken by then presidential candidate George H. W. Bush at the 1988 Republican National Convention as he accepted the nomination on August 18. Written by speechwriter Peggy Noonan, the line was the most prominent sound bite from the speech...

".

The general election campaign between the two men has been described as one of the nastiest in modern times. Bush blamed Dukakis for polluting the Boston Harbor
Boston Harbor
Boston Harbor is a natural harbor and estuary of Massachusetts Bay, and is located adjacent to the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is home to the Port of Boston, a major shipping facility in the northeast.-History:...

 as the Massachusetts governor. Bush also pointed out that Dukakis was opposed to the law that would require all students to say the Pledge of Allegiance, a topic well covered in Bush's nomination acceptance speech.

Dukakis's unconditional opposition to capital punishment led to a pointed question during the presidential debates. Moderator Bernard Shaw
Bernard Shaw (journalist)
Bernard Shaw is a retired American journalist and former news anchor for CNN from 1980 until his retirement in March 2001.-Early years:...

 asked Dukakis hypothetically if Dukakis would support the death penalty if his wife, Kitty, were raped and murdered. Dukakis's response of no, as well as the Willie Horton
Willie Horton
William R. "Willie" Horton is an American convicted felon who, while serving a life sentence for murder, without the possibility of parole, was the beneficiary of a Massachusetts weekend furlough program...

 ad, contributed toward Bush's characterization of him as "soft on crime".

Bush defeated Dukakis and his running mate, Lloyd Bentsen
Lloyd Bentsen
Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr. was a four-term United States senator from Texas and the Democratic Party nominee for Vice President in 1988 on the Michael Dukakis ticket. He also served in the House of Representatives from 1949 to 1955. In his later political life, he was Chairman of the Senate...

, in the Electoral College, by 426 to 111 (Bentsen received one vote from a faithless elector
Faithless elector
In United States presidential elections, a faithless elector is a member of the Electoral College who does not vote for the candidate they have pledged to vote for...

). In the nationwide popular vote, Bush took 53.4 percent of the ballots cast while Dukakis received 45.6 percent. Bush became the first serving Vice President to be elected President since Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

 in 1836 as well as the first person to succeed someone from his own party to the Presidency via election to the office in his own right since Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 in 1929.

Presidency (1989–1993)

Bush was inaugurated
Inauguration of George H. W. Bush
The inauguration of George H. W. Bush as the 41st President of the United States was held on January 20, 1989. The inauguration marked the commencement of the four-year term of George H. W. Bush as President and Dan Quayle as Vice President...

 on January 20, 1989, succeeding Ronald Reagan. He entered office at a period of change in the world; the fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 and the collapse of Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 came early in his presidency. He ordered military operations in Panama
United States invasion of Panama
The United States Invasion of Panama, code-named Operation Just Cause, was the invasion of Panama by the United States in December 1989. It occurred during the administration of U.S. President George H. W...

 and the Persian Gulf
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 and, at one point, was recorded as having a record-high approval rating of 89 percent. However, economic recession
Recession
In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity. During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way...

 and breaking his "no new taxes
Read my lips: no new taxes
"Read my lips: no new taxes" is a now-famous phrase spoken by then presidential candidate George H. W. Bush at the 1988 Republican National Convention as he accepted the nomination on August 18. Written by speechwriter Peggy Noonan, the line was the most prominent sound bite from the speech...

" pledge caused a sharp decline in his approval rating, and Bush was defeated in the 1992 election
United States presidential election, 1992
The United States presidential election of 1992 had three major candidates: Incumbent Republican President George Bush; Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and independent Texas businessman Ross Perot....

.

In his Inaugural Address, Bush said:

Economy

Early in his term, Bush faced the problem of what to do with leftover deficits
United States public debt
The United States public debt is the money borrowed by the federal government of the United States at any one time through the issue of securities by the Treasury and other federal government agencies...

 spawned by the Reagan years. At $220 billion in 1990, the deficit had grown to three times its size since 1980. Bush was dedicated to curbing the deficit, believing that America could not continue to be a leader in the world without doing so. He began an effort to persuade the Democratic controlled Congress
101st United States Congress
The One Hundred First United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from January 3, 1989 to January 3, 1991, during the first two...

 to act on the budget; with Republicans believing that the best way was to cut government spending
Government spending
Government spending includes all government consumption, investment but excludes transfer payments made by a state. Government acquisition of goods and services for current use to directly satisfy individual or collective needs of the members of the community is classed as government final...

, and Democrats convinced that the only way would be to raise taxes
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

, Bush faced problems when it came to consensus building.

In the wake of a struggle with Congress, Bush was forced by the Democratic majority to raise tax revenues; as a result, many Republicans felt betrayed because Bush had promised "no new taxes" in his 1988 campaign. Perceiving a means of revenge, Republican congressmen defeated Bush's proposal which would enact spending cuts and tax increases that would reduce the deficit by $500 billion over five years. Scrambling, Bush accepted the Democrats' demands for higher taxes and more spending, which alienated him from Republicans and gave way to a sharp decrease in popularity. Bush would later say that he wished he had never signed the bill. Near the end of the 101st Congress
101st United States Congress
The One Hundred First United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from January 3, 1989 to January 3, 1991, during the first two...

, the president and congressional members reached a compromise on a budget package that increased the marginal tax rate and phased out exemptions for high-income taxpayers. Despite demands for a reduction in the capital gains tax
Capital gains tax
A capital gains tax is a tax charged on capital gains, the profit realized on the sale of a non-inventory asset that was purchased at a lower price. The most common capital gains are realized from the sale of stocks, bonds, precious metals and property...

, Bush relented on this issue as well. This agreement with the Democratic leadership in Congress proved to be a turning point in the Bush presidency; his popularity among Republicans never fully recovered.

Coming at around the same time as the budget deal, America entered into a mild recession, lasting for six months. Many government programs, such as welfare
Welfare
Welfare refers to a broad discourse which may hold certain implications regarding the provision of a minimal level of wellbeing and social support for all citizens without the stigma of charity. This is termed "social solidarity"...

, increased. As the unemployment rate edged upward in 1991, Bush signed a bill providing additional benefits for unemployed workers. 1991 was marked by many corporate reorganizations, which laid off a substantial number of workers. Many now unemployed were Republicans and independents, who had believed that their jobs were secure.

By his second year in office, Bush was told by his economic advisors to stop dealing with the economy, as they believed that he had done everything necessary to ensure his reelection. By 1992, interest and inflation rates were the lowest in years, but by midyear the unemployment rate reached 7.8 percent, the highest since 1984. In September 1992, the Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 reported that 14.2 percent of all Americans lived in poverty. At a press conference in 1990, Bush told reporters that he found foreign policy more enjoyable.

Major initiatives

During a speech to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

 moon landing, Bush announced a vision to complete Space Station Freedom
Space Station Freedom
Space Station Freedom was a NASA project to construct a permanently manned Earth-orbiting space station in the 1980s. Although approved by then-president Ronald Reagan and announced in the 1984 State of the Union Address, Freedom was never constructed or completed as originally designed, and after...

, resume exploration of the Moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 and begin exploration of Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

. Although a space station was eventually constructed–work on the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

 began in 1998–other work has been confounded by NASA budgetary issues. In 1998, Bush received the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement's National Space Trophy for his pioneering leadership of our nation's space program.

Bush signed a number of major laws in his presidency, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009....

; this was one of the most pro-civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 bills in decades. He worked to increase federal spending for education, childcare, and advanced technology research. In dealing with the environment, Bush reauthorized the Clean Air Act
Clean Air Act
A Clean Air Act is one of a number of pieces of legislation relating to the reduction of airborne contaminants, smog and air pollution in general. The use by governments to enforce clean air standards has contributed to an improvement in human health and longer life spans...

, requiring cleaner burning fuels. He quarreled with Congress over an eventually signed bill to aid police in capturing criminals, and signed into law a measure to improve the nation's highway system. Bush signed the Immigration Act of 1990
Immigration Act of 1990
The Immigration Act of 1990 increased the number of legal immigrants allowed into the United States each year. It also created a lottery program that randomly assigned a number of visas. This was done to help immigrants from countries where the United States did not often grant visas...

, which increased legal immigration
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 to the United States by 40 percent.

Bush was a Life Member of the National Rifle Association
National Rifle Association
The National Rifle Association of America is an American non-profit 501 civil rights organization which advocates for the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection...

 and had campaigned as a "Pro-gun" candidate with the NRA's endorsement in 1988. However, in March 1989 he placed a temporary ban on the import of certain semiautomatic rifles. This action cost him endorsement from the NRA in 1992. Bush publicly resigned his life membership in the organization after losing the election and receiving a form letter from NRA depicting agents of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms as "jack-booted thugs". He called the NRA letter a " vicious slander on good people."

Supreme Court

Bush appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

:
  • David Souter
    David Souter
    David Hackett Souter is a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He served from 1990 until his retirement on June 29, 2009. Appointed by President George H. W. Bush to fill the seat vacated by William J...

     – 1990
  • Clarence Thomas
    Clarence Thomas
    Clarence Thomas is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Succeeding Thurgood Marshall, Thomas is the second African American to serve on the Court....

     – 1991

Other courts

In addition to his two Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 appointments, Bush appointed 42 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals
The United States courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system...

, and 148 judges to the United States district court
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

s. Among these appointments was Vaughn R. Walker
Vaughn R. Walker
Vaughn R. Walker served as a district judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California from 1989 to 2011.-Biography:Walker was born in Watseka, Illinois, in 1944...

, who would later be revealed to be the earliest known gay federal judge. Bush also experienced a number of judicial appointment controversies
George H. W. Bush judicial appointment controversies
During President George H.W. Bush's term in office, he nominated 11 individuals for 10 different federal appellate judgeships who were not processed by the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee...

, as 11 nominees for 10 federal appellate judgeships
United States federal judge
In the United States, the title of federal judge usually means a judge appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate in accordance with Article II of the United States Constitution....

 were not processed by the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee.

Foreign policy

Panama

In the 1980s, Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega
Manuel Noriega
Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno is a Panamanian politician and soldier. He was military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989.The 1989 invasion of Panama by the United States removed him from power; he was captured, detained as a prisoner of war, and flown to the United States. Noriega was tried on...

, a once US-supportive leader who was later accused of spying
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 for Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 and using Panama to traffic drugs into the US, was one of the most recognizable names in the United States, being constantly covered by the press. The struggle to remove him from power began in the Reagan administration, when economic sanctions were imposed on the country; this included prohibiting US companies and government from making payments to Panama and freezing $56 million in Panamanian funds in US banks. Reagan sent more than 2,000 US troops to Panama as well. Unlike Reagan, Bush was able to remove Noriega from power, but his administration's unsuccessful post-invasion planning hindered the needs of Panama during the establishment of the young democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 government.

In May 1989, Panama held democratic elections, in which Guillermo Endara
Guillermo Endara
Guillermo David Endara Galimany was the President of Panama from 1989 to 1994. He ran for office in 2004 and 2009 but lost to the former President Martin Torrijos and to the incumbent President Ricardo Martinelli....

 was elected president; the results were then annulled by Noriega's government. In response, Bush sent 2,000 more troops to the country, where they began conducting regular military exercises in Panamanian territory (in violation of prior treaties). Bush then removed an embassy and ambassador from the country, and dispatched additional troops to Panama to prepare the way for an upcoming invasion. Noriega suppressed an October military coup attempt and massive protests in Panama against him, but after a US serviceman was shot by Panamanian forces in December 1989, Bush ordered 24,000 troops into the country with an objective of removing Noriega from power; "Operation Just Cause" was a large-scale American military operation, and the first in more than 40 years that was not Cold War related.

The mission was controversial, but American forces achieved control of the country and Endara assumed the Presidency. Noriega surrendered to the US and was convicted and imprisoned on racketeering and drug trafficking charges in April 1992. President Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush
Barbara Bush
Barbara Pierce Bush is the wife of the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She is the mother of the 43rd President George W. Bush and of the 43rd Governor of Florida Jeb Bush...

 visited Panama in June 1992, to give support to the first post-invasion Panamanian government.

Soviet Union

In 1989, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bush met with Soviet General Secretary
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the title given to the leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. With some exceptions, the office was synonymous with leader of the Soviet Union...

 Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

 in a conference
Malta Summit
The Malta Summit consisted of a meeting between U.S. President George H. W. Bush and U.S.S.R. leader Mikhail Gorbachev, taking place between December 2-3 1989, just a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was their second meeting following a meeting that included then President Ronald...

 on the Mediterranean island of Malta. The administration had been under intense pressure to meet with the Soviets, but not all initially found the Malta summit to be a step in the right direction; General Brent Scowcroft
Brent Scowcroft
Brent Scowcroft, KBE was the United States National Security Advisor under Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush and a Lieutenant General in the United States Air Force. He also served as Military Assistant to President Richard Nixon and as Deputy Assistant to the President for National...

, among others, was apprehensive about the meeting, saying that it might be "premature" due to concerns where, according to Dr. Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

, "expectations [would be] set that something was going to happen, where the Soviets might grandstand and force [the US] into agreements that would ultimately not be good for the United States". But European leaders, including François Mitterrand
François Mitterrand
François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was the 21st President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, serving from 1981 until 1995. He is the longest-serving President of France and, as leader of the Socialist Party, the only figure from the left so far elected President...

 and Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

, encouraged Bush to meet with Gorbachev, something that he did December 2 and 3, 1989. Though no agreements were signed, the meeting was viewed largely as being an important one; when asked about nuclear war, Gorbachev responded, "I assured the President of the United States that the Soviet Union would never start a hot war against the United States of America. And we would like our relations to develop in such a way that they would open greater possibilities for cooperation.... This is just the beginning. We are just at the very beginning of our road, long road to a long-lasting, peaceful period". The meeting was received as a very important step to the end of the Cold War.
Another summit was held in July 1991, where the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I)
START I
START was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. The treaty was signed on 31 July 1991 and entered into force on 5 December 1994...

 was signed by Bush and Gorbachev in Moscow. The treaty took nine years in the making and was the first major arms agreement since the signing of the Intermediate Ranged Nuclear Forces Treaty by Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987. The contentions in START would reduce the US's and USSR's strategic nuclear weapons by about 35% over seven years, and the Soviet Union's land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles would be cut by 50%. Bush described START as "a significant step forward in dispelling half a century of mistrust". After the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, President Bush and Gorbachev declared a US-Russian strategic partnership, marking the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.

Gulf War

On August 1, 1990, Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

, invaded its oil-rich neighbor to the south, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

; Bush condemned the invasion and began rallying opposition to Iraq in the US and among European, Asian, and Middle Eastern allies. Secretary of Defense Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Fahd
Fahd of Saudi Arabia
Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, was King of Saudi Arabia from 1982 to 2005...

; Fahd requested US military aid in the matter, fearing a possible invasion of his country as well. The request was met initially with Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 fighter jets. Iraq made attempts to negotiate a deal that would allow the country to take control of half of Kuwait. Bush rejected this proposal and insisted on a complete withdrawal of Iraqi forces. The planning of a ground operation by US-led coalition forces began forming in September 1990, headed by General Norman Schwarzkopf. Bush spoke before a joint session of the US Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 regarding the authorization of air and land attacks, laying out four immediate objectives: "Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait completely, immediately, and without condition. Kuwait's legitimate government must be restored. The security and stability of the Persian Gulf must be assured. And American citizens abroad must be protected." He then outlined a fifth, long-term objective: "Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective – a new world order – can emerge: a new era – freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony.... A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak." With the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 opposed to Iraq's violence, Congress authorized the Use of Military force
Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 1991
The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution or Joint Resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 , was the United States Congress's January 14, 1991 authorization of the use of U.S. military force...

 with a set goal of returning control of Kuwait to the Kuwaiti government, and protecting America's interests abroad.

Early on the morning of January 17, 1991, allied forces launched the first attack, which included more than 4,000 bombing runs by coalition aircraft. This pace would continue for the next four weeks, until a ground invasion was launched on February 24. Allied forces penetrated Iraqi lines and pushed toward Kuwait City
Kuwait City
-Suburbs:Although the districts below are not usually recognized as suburbs, the following is a list of a few areas surrounding Kuwait city:Al-Salam ""السلام"" -Economy:...

 while on the west side of the country, forces were intercepting the retreating Iraqi army. Bush made the decision to stop the offensive after a mere 100 hours. Critics labeled this decision premature, as hundreds of Iraqi forces were able to escape; Bush responded by saying that he wanted to minimize US casualties. Opponents further charged that Bush should have continued the attack, pushing Hussein's army back to Baghdad, then removing him from power. Bush explained that he did not give the order to overthrow the Iraqi government because it would have "incurred incalculable human and political costs.... We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq."

Bush's approval ratings skyrocketed after the successful offensive. Additionally, President Bush and Secretary of State Baker felt the coalition victory had increased U.S. prestige abroad and believed there was a window of opportunity to use the political capital generated by the coalition victory to revitalize the Arab-Israeli peace process. The administration immediately returned to Arab-Israeli peacemaking following the end of the Gulf War; this resulted in the Madrid Conference, later in 1991.

Somali Civil War

Faced with a humanitarian disaster in Somalia, exacerbated by a complete breakdown in civil order, the United Nations had created the UNOSOM I
UNOSOM I
United Nations Operation in Somalia I was the first part of a United Nations sponsored effort to provide, facilitate, and secure humanitarian relief in Somalia, as well as to monitor the first UN-brokered ceasefire of the Somali Civil War conflict in the early 1990s.The operation was established...

 mission in April 1992. However, the complete intransigence of the local warlords operating in Somalia and their rivalries with each other meant that UNOSOM I could not be performed. The mission never reached its mandated strength. Resolution 794 was unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council on December 3, 1992, and they welcomed the United States offer to help create a secure environment for humanitarian efforts in Somalia. President George H. W. Bush responded to this by initiating Operation Restore Hope on December 4, 1992, under which the United States would assume command in accordance with Resolution 794. The vast bulk of UNITAF's total personnel strength was provided by the United States (Some 25,000 out of a total of 37,000 personnel). The first elements of UNITAF landed on the beaches of Somalia on December 9, 1992 amid a media circus. However, Mohamed Farrah Aidid
Mohamed Farrah Aidid
General Mohamed Ali Farrah Aidid was a controversial Somali military leader, often described as a warlord. A former general and diplomat, he was the chairman of the United Somali Congress and later led the Somali National Alliance...

 saw UNOSOM II as a threat to his power and in June 1993 his militia attacked Pakistan Army
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 troops, attached to UNOSOM II, (see Somalia (March 1992 to February 1996)) in Mogadishu inflicting over 80 casualties. Fighting escalated until 19 American troops and more than 1,000 civilians and militia were killed in a raid in Mogadishu during October 1993.

NAFTA

Bush's administration, along with the Progressive Conservative
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada was a Canadian political party with a centre-right stance on economic issues and, after the 1970s, a centrist stance on social issues....

 Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
Brian Mulroney
Martin Brian Mulroney, was the 18th Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993 and was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1983 to 1993. His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the introduction of major economic reforms, such as the Canada-U.S...

, spearheaded the negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

 (NAFTA), which would eliminate the majority of tariff
Tariff
A tariff may be either tax on imports or exports , or a list or schedule of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage ....

s on products traded among the United States, Canada, and Mexico, to encourage trade amongst the countries. The treaty also restricts patents, copyrights, and trademarks, and outlines the removal of investment restrictions among the three countries.

The agreement came under heavy scrutiny amongst mainly Democrats, who charged that NAFTA resulted in a loss of US jobs. NAFTA also contained no provisions for labor rights; according to the Bush administration, the trade agreement would generate economic resources necessary to enable Mexico's government to overcome problems of funding and enforcement of its labor laws. Bush needed a renewal of negotiating authority to move forward with the NAFTA trade talks. Such authority would enable the president to negotiate a trade accord that would be submitted to Congress for a vote, thereby avoiding a situation in which the president would be required to renegotiate with trading partners those parts of an agreement that Congress wished to change. While initial signing was possible during his term, negotiations made slow, but steady, progress. President Clinton would go on to make the passage of NAFTA a priority for his administration, despite its conservative and Republican roots – with the addition of two side agreements – to achieve its passage in 1993.

The treaty has since been defended as well as criticized further. The American economy has grown 54 percent since the adoption of NAFTA in 1993, with 25 million new jobs created; this was seen by some as evidence of NAFTA being beneficial to the US. With talk in early 2008 regarding a possible American withdrawal from the treaty, Carlos M Gutierrez, current United States Secretary of Commerce
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce"...

, writes, "Quitting NAFTA would send economic shock waves throughout the world, and the damage would start here at home." But John J Sweeney of The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

argues that "the US trade deficit with Canada and Mexico ballooned to 12 times its pre-NAFTA size, reaching $111 billion in 2004."

Pardons

As other presidents have done, Bush issued a series of pardons during his last days in office. On December 24, 1992, he granted executive clemency to six former government employees implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal of the late 1980s, most prominently former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger
Caspar Weinberger
Caspar Willard "Cap" Weinberger , was an American politician, vice president and general counsel of Bechtel Corporation, and Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan from January 21, 1981, until November 23, 1987, making him the third longest-serving defense secretary to date, after...

. Weinberger, who had been scheduled to stand trial on January 5, 1993, for criminal charges related to Iran-Contra, was described by Bush as a "true American patriot".

In addition to Weinberger, Bush pardoned Duane R. Clarridge, Clair E. George, Robert C. McFarlane, Elliott Abrams
Elliott Abrams
Elliott Abrams is an American attorney and neoconservative policy analyst who served in foreign policy positions for two Republican U.S. Presidents, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. While serving for Reagan and in the State Department, Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz, and retired U.S. Marine Corps officer...

, and Alan G. Fiers Jr., all of whom had been indicted and/or convicted of criminal charges by an Independent Counsel
United States Office of the Independent Counsel
United States Office of the Independent Counsel was an independent prosecutor — distinct from the Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice — that provided reports to the Congress under . The office was terminated in 1999 and replaced by the U.S...

 headed by Lawrence Walsh.

1992 presidential campaign

Bush announced his reelection bid in early 1992; with a coalition victory in the Persian Gulf War and high approval ratings, reelection initially looked likely. As a result, many leading Democrats declined to seek their party's presidential nomination. But an economic recession, and doubts of whether Bush ended the Gulf War properly, reduced his popularity.

Conservative political columnist Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

 challenged Bush for the Republican nomination, and shocked political pundits by finishing second, with 37% of the vote, in the New Hampshire primary. Bush responded by adopting more conservative positions on issues, in an attempt to undermine Buchanan's base. Once he had secured the nomination, Bush faced his challenger, Democrat William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. Clinton attacked Bush as not doing enough to assist the working middle-class and being "out of touch" with the common man, a notion reinforced by reporter Andrew Rosenthal
Andrew Rosenthal
Andrew Rosenthal is an American journalist and editorial page editor of The New York Times. Rosenthal is in charge of the paper's opinion pages, both in the newspaper and online. He oversees the editorial board, the Letters and Op-Ed departments, as well as the Editorial and Op-Ed sections of...

's false report that Bush was "astonished" to see a demonstration of a supermarket scanner
Barcode reader
A barcode reader is an electronic device for reading printed barcodes. Like a flatbed scanner, it consists of a light source, a lens and a light sensor translating optical impulses into electrical ones...

, which around 1992 were a new invention.

In early 1992, the race took an unexpected twist when Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot launched a third party bid, claiming that neither Republicans nor Democrats could eliminate the deficit and make government more efficient. His message appealed to voters across the political spectrum disappointed with both parties' perceived fiscal irresponsibility. Perot later bowed out of the race for a short time, then reentered.

Clinton had originally been in the lead, until Perot reentered, tightening the race significantly. Nearing election day, polls suggested that the race was a dead-heat, but Clinton pulled out on top, defeating Bush in a 43% to 38% popular vote margin. Perot won 19% of the popular vote, one of the highest totals for a third party candidate in US history, drawing equally from both major candidates, according to exit polls. Bush received 168 electoral votes to Clinton's 370.

Several factors were key in Bush's defeat, including agreeing in 1990 to raise taxes despite his famous "Read my lips: no new taxes" pledge. In doing so, Bush alienated many members of his conservative base, losing their support for his re-election. Of the voters who cited Bush's broken "No New Taxes" pledge as "very important", two thirds voted for Bill Clinton. Bush had raised taxes in an attempt to address an increasing budget deficit, which has largely been attributed to the Reagan tax cuts and military spending of the 1980s. In addition to these factors, the ailing economy which arose from recession may have been the main factor in Bush's loss, as 7 in 10 voters said on election day that the economy was either "not so good" or "poor". On the eve of the 1992 election against these factors, Bush's approval rating stood at just 37% after suffering low ratings throughout the year. Despite his defeat, Bush climbed back from election day approval levels to leave office in 1993 with a 56% job approval rating.

Public image

George Bush was widely seen as a "pragmatic caretaker" president who lacked a unified and compelling long-term theme in his efforts. Indeed, Bush's sound bite where he refers to the issue of overarching purpose as "the vision thing
Vision thing
"Vision thing" is a notable sound bite and catch phrase from George H. W. Bush during his presidency...

" has become a metonym applied to other political figures accused of similar difficulties. "He does not say why he wants to be there", wrote columnist George Will, "so the public does not know why it should care if he gets his way."

His Ivy League
Ivy League
The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group...

 and prep school education led to warnings by advisors that his image was too "preppy
Preppy
Preppy, preppie, or prep refers to a modern, widespread United States clique, often considered a subculture...

" in 1980, which resulted in deliberate efforts in his 1988 campaign to shed the image, including meeting voters at factories and shopping malls, abandoning set speeches.

His ability to gain broad international support for the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 and the war's result were seen as both a diplomatic and military triumph, rousing bipartisan approval, though his decision to withdraw without removing Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 left mixed feelings, and attention returned to the domestic front and a souring economy. A New York Times article mistakenly depicted Bush as being surprised to see a supermarket barcode reader
Barcode reader
A barcode reader is an electronic device for reading printed barcodes. Like a flatbed scanner, it consists of a light source, a lens and a light sensor translating optical impulses into electrical ones...

; the report of his reaction exacerbated the notion that he was "out of touch". Amid the Early 1990s recession, his image shifted from "conquering hero" to "politician befuddled by economic matters". And though Bush saw a 34 percent approval rating leading up to the 1992 election, the mood did not last; within a year of his defeat, Bush's approval was up to 56%, and by December 2008 60% of Americans give Bush's presidency a positive rating.

Post-Presidency

Upon leaving office, Bush retired with his wife, Barbara, to their home in the exclusive neighborhood of Tanglewood in Houston, with a presidential office nearby. They spend the summer at Walker's Point
Bush compound
The Bush compound , is the summer home of 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush. Located adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean in southern Maine, in the town of Kennebunkport, the property has been a family retreat for more than a century.The estate was purchased in the late 19th century...

 in Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport, Maine
Kennebunkport is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,720 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford metropolitan statistical area....

, Maine. On January 10, 1999, the Bushes became the longest-married Presidential couple in history, outlasting John
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 and Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams was the wife of John Adams, who was the second President of the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth...

, who were married for 54 years and 3 days. At 66 years in 2011, they still hold the record, by a year and a half, over Jimmy
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 and Rosalynn Carter
Rosalynn Carter
Eleanor Rosalynn Carter is the wife of the former President of the United States Jimmy Carter and in that capacity served as the First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981. As First Lady and after, she has been a leading advocate for numerous causes, perhaps most prominently for mental...

. Bush holds his own fishing tournament in Islamorada, an island in the Florida Keys
Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are a coral archipelago in southeast United States. They begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry...

.

In 1993, Bush was awarded an honorary knighthood (GCB
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

) by Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

. He was the third American president to receive the honor, the others being Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.

In 1993, Bush visited Kuwait to commemorate the coalition's victory over Iraq in the Gulf War, where he was targeted in an assassination plot. Kuwaiti authorities arrested 17 people allegedly involved in using a car bomb to kill Bush. Through interviews with the suspects and examinations of the bomb's circuitry and wiring, the FBI established that the plot had been directed by the Iraqi Intelligence Service. A Kuwaiti court later convicted all but one of the defendants. Two months later, in retaliation, Clinton ordered the firing of 23 cruise missiles at Iraqi Intelligence Service headquarters in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

. The day before the strike commenced, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Korbelová Albright is the first woman to become a United States Secretary of State. She was appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99–0...

 went before the Security Council to present evidence of the Iraqi plot. After the missiles were fired, Vice President Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 said the attack "was intended to be a proportionate response at the place where this plot" to assassinate Bush "was hatched and implemented".

From 1993–1999, he served as the chairman to the board of trustees for Eisenhower Fellowships
Eisenhower Fellowships
Eisenhower Fellowships is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization created in 1953 by a group of prominent American citizens to honor President Dwight D. Eisenhower for his contribution to humanity as a soldier, statesman, and world leader...

.

His eldest son, George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States on January 20, 2001. Through previous administrations, the elder Bush had ubiquitously been known as "George Bush" or "President Bush", but following his son's election the need to distinguish between them has made retronym
Retronym
A retronym is a type of neologism that provides a new name for an object or concept to differentiate the original form or version of it from a more recent form or version. The original name is most often augmented with an adjective to account for later developments of the object or concept itself...

ic forms such as "George H. W. Bush" and "George Bush senior" – and colloquialisms such as "Bush 41" and "Bush the Elder" much more common.

On February 15, 2011 he was awarded the Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

—the highest civilian honor in the United States—by President Barack Obama.

Bush has developed Parkinsonism
Parkinsonism
Parkinsonism is a neurological syndrome characterized by tremor, hypokinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. The underlying causes of parkinsonism are numerous, and diagnosis can be complex...

, a vascular disorder which has weakened his legs. In April 2011 he said he was not suffering pain from the disorder.

Presidential library

The George Bush Presidential Library is the presidential library
Presidential library
In the United States, the Presidential library system is a nationwide network of 13 libraries administered by the Office of Presidential Libraries, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration...

 named for Bush. This tenth presidential library was built between 1995 and 1997 and contains the presidential and vice-presidential papers of Bush and the vice-presidential papers of Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle
James Danforth "Dan" Quayle served as the 44th Vice President of the United States, serving with President George H. W. Bush . He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the state of Indiana....

. It was dedicated on November 6, 1997 and opened to the public shortly thereafter; the complex was designed by the architectural firm of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum
Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum
HOK is a global architecture, interiors, engineering, planning and consulting firm. HOK is the largest U.S.-based architecture-engineering firm and the "No. 1 role model for sustainable and high-performance design." HOK also is the second-largest interior design firm...

.

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located on a 90 acres (364,217.4 m²) site on the west campus of Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is a coeducational public research university located in College Station, Texas . It is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The sixth-largest university in the United States, A&M's enrollment for Fall 2011 was over 50,000 for the first time in school...

 in College Station
College Station, Texas
College Station is a city in Brazos County, Texas, situated in East Central Texas in the heart of the Brazos Valley. The city is located within the most populated region of Texas, near three of the 10 largest cities in the United States - Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio...

, Texas. It is situated on a plaza adjoining the Presidential Conference Center and the Texas A&M Academic Center. The Library operates under the administration of the NARA
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

 under the provisions of the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955.

Another institute was named in his honor: the George Bush School of Government and Public Service is a graduate public policy school
Public policy school
Public policy schools teach students policy analysis, policy studies, public policy, political economy, urban planning, public administration, public affairs, and public management.Public policy schools offer a wide range of public policy degrees...

 at Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is a coeducational public research university located in College Station, Texas . It is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The sixth-largest university in the United States, A&M's enrollment for Fall 2011 was over 50,000 for the first time in school...

 in College Station
College Station, Texas
College Station is a city in Brazos County, Texas, situated in East Central Texas in the heart of the Brazos Valley. The city is located within the most populated region of Texas, near three of the 10 largest cities in the United States - Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio...

, Texas. The graduate school is part of the presidential library complex, and offers four programs: two master's degree programs (Public Service Administration and International Affairs) and two certificate programs (Advanced International Affairs and Homeland Security
Homeland security
Homeland security is an umbrella term for security efforts to protect states against terrorist activity. Specifically, is a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do...

). The Masters program in International Affairs (MPIA) program offers a choice of concentration on either National Security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

 Affairs or International Economics and Development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

.

Later activities

The former president continues to make many public appearances. He and Mrs. Bush attended the state funeral of Ronald Reagan
Death and state funeral of Ronald Reagan
On June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, died after having suffered from Alzheimer's disease for nearly a decade. His seven-day state funeral followed, spanning June 5–11...

 in June 2004, and of Gerald Ford
Death and state funeral of Gerald Ford
On December 26, 2006, Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, at 6:45 p.m. local time . At 8:49 p.m...

 in January 2007. One month later, he was awarded the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award
Ronald Reagan Freedom Award
The Ronald Reagan Freedom Award is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the private Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. The award is given to "those who have made monumental and lasting contributions to the cause of freedom worldwide."...

 in Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills, California
Beverly Hills is an affluent city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. With a population of 34,109 at the 2010 census, up from 33,784 as of the 2000 census, it is home to numerous Hollywood celebrities. Beverly Hills and the neighboring city of West Hollywood are together...

, California by former First Lady Nancy Reagan
Nancy Reagan
Nancy Davis Reagan is the widow of former United States President Ronald Reagan and was First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989....

. Despite his political differences with Bill Clinton, it has been acknowledged that the two former presidents have become friends. He and Clinton appeared together in television ads in 2005, encouraging aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

.

In October 2006, Bush was honored by the National Italian American Foundation
National Italian American Foundation
The National Italian American Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage...

 (NIAF), receiving the NIAF One America Award for his work to better the lives of all Americans.

On February 18, 2008, Bush formally endorsed Senator John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 for the presidency of the United States. The endorsement offered a boost to McCain's campaign, as the Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

 Senator had been facing criticism among many conservatives.

On January 10, 2009, Bush and his son were both present at the commissioning of the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77)
USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77)
USS George H.W. Bush is the tenth and final Nimitz-class supercarrier of the United States Navy. She is named for the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush, who was a naval aviator during World War II. Bush callsign is Avenger, after the TBM Avenger aircraft flown by...

, the tenth and last Nimitz class
Nimitz class aircraft carrier
The Nimitz-class supercarriers are a class of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy. With an overall length of and full-load displacements of over 100,000 long tons, they are the largest capital ships in the world...

 supercarrier
Supercarrier
Supercarrier is an unofficial descriptive term for the largest type of aircraft carrier, usually displacing over 70,000 long tons.Supercarrier is an unofficial descriptive term for the largest type of aircraft carrier, usually displacing over 70,000 long tons.Supercarrier is an unofficial...

 of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

. Bush paid a visit to the carrier again on May 26, 2009.

Electoral history

External links


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