George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018) was 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 was married to Barbara Bush from 1945 until her death in 2018. His children include 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush, former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, and Dorothy Bush Koch. He was an Episcopalian.
On November 25, 2017, Bush was the longest-lived U.S. President. He passed the 93 years and 165 days lifespan of Gerald Ford, who died on December 26, 2006.
On November 30, 2018, Bush died at his home in Houston, Texas at the age of 94.
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 WWII, his plane was shot down. He won 3 Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He married Barbara Pierce in 1945. They had six children.
Bush 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 was later a House Representative. He was also Republican Party Chairman and tried the vice presidency, with the support of such Congressional conservatives as Senator Barry Goldwater after Nixon resigned and Ford took office, but lost to liberal Republican Nelson Rockefeller in 1974. In 1980, Bush also ran against Ronald Reagan 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, Bush 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, Bush was elected president in 1988 by defeating Michael Dukakis. While he was president, the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union fell apart.
When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in order to steal their supplies of oil, Bush led the United States and many other countries to protect Kuwait. The conflict was called the Gulf War. He also invaded Panama to remove Manuel Noreiga, who was guilty of drug trafficking.
At his home, 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 the reason he lost the presidential election of 1992 to Bill Clinton.
On February 15, 2011, Bush 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.
Bush suffered from a form of Parkinson’s disease which forced him to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around, since at least 2012. He died in November of 2018.
Since Bush had the same first and last names as his son, he was 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 as United States Liaison to China, circa 1975
Bush, as CIA Director, listens at a meeting following the assassinations in Beirut of Francis E. Meloy, Jr. and Robert O. Waring, 1976.
Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev in Helsinki summit in 1990
President Bush visited American troops in Saudi Arabia on Thanksgiving Day, 1990
Bush meets with Robert Gates, General Colin Powell, Secretary Dick Cheney and others about the situation in the Persian Gulf and Operation Desert Shield, January 15, 1991
From left to right: (standing) President Carlos Salinas, President Bush, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney; (seated) Jaime Serra Puche, Carla Hills, and Michael Wilson at the NAFTA Initialing Ceremony, October 1992
Bush and Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet