George H. W. Bush facts

The Honorable
George H. W. Bush
41st President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
Vice President Dan Quayle
Preceded by Ronald Reagan
Succeeded by Bill Clinton
43rd Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Walter Mondale
Succeeded by Dan Quayle
Director of Central Intelligence
In office
January 30, 1976 – January 20, 1977
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by William Colby
Succeeded by Stansfield Turner
Chief of the Liaison Office to the People's Republic of China
In office
September 26, 1974 – December 7, 1975
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by David Bruce
Succeeded by Thomas Gates
Chairperson of the Republican National Committee
In office
January 19, 1973 – September 16, 1974
Preceded by Bob Dole
Succeeded by Mary Smith
United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
March 1, 1971 – January 18, 1973
President Richard Nixon
Preceded by Charles Yost
Succeeded by John Scali
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1971
Preceded by John Dowdy
Succeeded by William Archer
Personal details
Born George Herbert Walker Bush
June 12, 1924 (1924-06-12) (age 94)
Milton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Barbara Pierce (1945–present)
Children George
Alma mater Yale University
Religion Episcopalian
Signature Cursive signature in ink
Website Presidential Library
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Flag of the United States Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1942–1945
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg Lieutenant (junior grade)
Unit Fast Carrier Task Force
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (3)
Presidential Unit Citation

George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) is an American politician. He was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Before he became president, he was the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989 under the Ronald Reagan administration, an ambassador, a congressman, and Director of Central Intelligence. He is married to Barbara. His sons are 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush and former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush. His daughter is Dorothy Bush Koch. He is an Episcopalian.

Early life

George H W Bush at Age One and One-Half, ca 1925
Bush in 1925

Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton Massachusetts. His father was politician Prescott Bush. He studied at Yale University. In June 1943, Bush became the youngest pilot in the United States Navy at the time.

Bush served in the United States Navy during 1942 until 1945. During World War II, his plane was shot down. He won 3 Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He is married to Barbara Pierce since 1945. They had six children.

Early career

He worked for Zapata Oil in Texas and was a politician in Texas, running for the Senate in 1964 but losing to Ralph Yarborough and later again in 1970 though losing again to Lloyd Bentsen.

He later was a House Representative. He also was Republican Party Chairman and attempted the vice presidency, with the support of Congressional conservatives such as Senator Barry Goldwater, after Nixon resigned and Ford took office but lost to liberal Republican Nelson Rockefeller in 1974. Bush also ran against Ronald Reagan in 1980 for the Republican Party's candidacy for President but lost. He was then named Republican Vice Presidential candidate by Reagan after Reagan defeated him. Reagan and Bush were elected President and Vice President that year.

During World War II, he was a crewman on a TBM Avenger. He had survived many crashes and sunk a Japanese ship. He later became a diplomat and head of the CIA.


After being Ronald Reagan's vice-president, George H.W. Bush was elected president in 1988 by defeating Democrat Michael Dukakis. While he was President, the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union fell apart.

In 1992, Bush visited the Prime Minister of Japan, Kiichi Miyazawa, when he vomited on his lap and soon fainted during a dinner feast. Hours later, Bush made a comment that he was suffering from the flu.

When Saddam Hussein (the dictator of Iraq) invaded its enemy Kuwait in order to steal their supplies of oil, George H.W. Bush lead the United States and many other countries to protect Kuwait. The conflict was called the Gulf War. He also invaded Panama to remove its dictator Manuel Noreiga who was guilty of drug trafficking.

At home, George H. W. Bush also signed in important laws such as The Americans With Disabilities Act. However, the country suffered from a recession. This was embarrassing and many people believe this was why he lost the presidential election of 1992 to Bill Clinton.

Personal life

George H.W. and George W. Bush in Beijing 2008
Bush and his son, George W. Bush at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, 2008

Bush now lives in a ranch in Houston, Texas with his family. After his presidency, he supported John McCain and his son George W. Bush. He recently supported Mitt Romney and Rick Perry for president. He attended the opening of the USS George H.W. Bush, a naval ship named after him. He had traveled with his son to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. On February 15, 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, by President Barack Obama. He was present at his son's presidential library opening ceremony on April 25, 2013. In July 2013, Bush had his head shaved in a show of support for the two-year-old son of a member of his security detail, who had leukemia. He is the most recent president that was a veteran during World War II.


He is the father of George W. Bush, another president, Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and Dorothy Bush Koch. He has two other sons. His other daughter, Dorothy died of leukemia in 1953. His father was politician was Prescott Bush. On April 13, 2013, he became a great-grandfather when his granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager gave birth to a daughter.

Other names

Clinton and Bush 2006 (3618970325)
Bush with Bill Clinton, 2006

Since Bush has the same first and last names as his son, he is often called George H. W. Bush or George Bush Sr. (George Bush senior). Some people call him "41" or "Bush 41", because he was the 41st President.


Bush suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease which has forced him to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around, since at least 2012.

On November 23, 2012, he had a bronchitis-like cough that initially brought him to Methodist Hospital in Houston for treatment. He was supposed to be released before Christmas, but was kept in and over the holiday because he got worse with a high fever. On December 23, 2012 he started to be in the Intensive-care unit. On December 29, 2012, his health became better and moved out of intensive care. He was discharged in the hospital on January 14, 2013. On December 23, 2014, Bush was once again hospitalized at the Methodist Hospital after suffering a "shortness of breath". He was released from the hospital on December 30, 2014.

On July 15, 2015, Bush fell at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine and broke a vertebrae in his neck.

On January 18, 2017, he was admitted to the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist Hospital, where he was sedated for a procedure to treat an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia.


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