George Herbert Walker Bush (1924- )

Figure 1.--This was George Bush's wedding with Baravara Pierce on January 6, 1945. He wore his Navy uniform. To his right is his brother and sister Jonathan and Nancy. To the left of the bride and groom are his mother and father and his other brothers, Prescott Jr. and William Henry Trotter (Bucky).

George Bush was the 40th president of the United States. He effectively conducted foreign policy at the end to the Cold War which ended the post-World War II division of Europe. He also sucessfully drove Sadam Hussain out of Kuwait which without Bush's firm stand would have fundamentally changed power relatiionships in the Middle East. This wouls have had a huge impact on Western economies because Hussain would have had great control over oil supplies.


George's father was Conneticut Senator Prescott Bush. Senator Bush was the first important Republican to speak out against Senator McCarthy ans his scurilous witch hunting campaign against government workers. Dorthy Bush had hoped to go to Vasser, but was instead sent to Miss Potter's Academy [check?], a finishing school. President Bush also remembers her as a tremendously competive woman.


The Bushes had five children: Prescott Sheldon Jr. (1922- ), George Herberrt Walker (1924- ), Nancy (1926- ), Joanathan (1931- ), and William Henry Trotter (1938- ). The youngest brother, Willikam Henry Trotter, was known as Bucky. He was so much younger than the other chilkdren that he was virtually raised as only child., He attended the ecxclusive Hotchkiss School.


Coming from a family with a tradition of public service, George Herbert Walker Bush felt the responsibility to make his contribution both in time of war and in peace. Born in Milton, Massachusetts, on June 12, 1924. Dorthy Bush stressed good manners and values and dispinced daily devotions at breakfast. Once when George called his mother to tell her that he scored three goals, there was a pause on the line after which his mother asked him how the team did. President Bush also remembers her as a tremendisly competiive woman.


George Bush's first school was the Greenwich Country Day School wehich he attended with his older brother. Next he attended the exclusive Phillips Academy preparatory school in Andover, Massachusetts. (An American preparatory school is a private secondary-level school comparable to a British public school.) Phillips Academy is one of America's most exclusive and rigorous prep schools and his father's alma mater. George became a student leader and was the president of the seionr class, captain of the baseball team. After graduating he postponed college, contrary to the advise of commencement speaker Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, and enlisted--becoming the youngest commissioned navy pilot in World War II. After the War, Bush next turned his energies toward completing his education and raising a family. In January 1945 he married Barbara Pierce. They had six children. At Yale University he excelled both in sports and in his studies; he was captain of the baseball team and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation Bush embarked on a career in the oil industry of West Texas.

World War II

Bush on his 18th birthday he enlisted in the armed forces. He was the youngest pilot in the Navy when he received his wings, he flew 58 combat missions during World War II. On one mission over the Pacific as a torpedo bomber pilot he was shot down by Japanese antiaircraft fire. Being shot down in thePacific iwas no small thing. The Pcifuc Ocean is a huge expanse. Many pilot survived, but were nevr found. Bush was fortunate. He was rescued by a U.S. Navy submarine. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action.

Barbara Pierce Bush (1925- )

Barbara Pierce Bush is one of the most respected first ladies. She and Abigale Adams are the only two women to both mother a president and then become a First Lady. Yje Americn people from the very beginning became attached to Mrs. Bush. MrsBush perhaos put her finger on it, it ws the image she projected complete with grey hair as 'everybody's grandmother'. She explained, "I'm fair and I like children and I adore my husband." Barbara was born (1925). Her parebts were Pauline and Marvin Pierce. Her father became president of McCall Corporation. Barbara grew up in the suburban town of Rye, New York. She describes a happy childhood. She attended Ashley Hall, a boarding school in South Carolina. It was there at a dance during Christmas vacation when she furst met George Bush (1941). She was 16 years old. Bush was a senior at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. There was an immediate atraction. It was in the middle of World War II. They became engaged a year later, just before he went off to war. He served as a Navy torpedo bomber pilot. After being shot down, George was granted leave. Barbara had dropped out of Smith College. They married (1945). The War ended a few months later. George after the war attended at graduated from Yale University. They immediately set out to seek opportunities in Texas to start their new lives together. They had six children. Bush built a business in the oil industry. Using Texas as a base, he ventured into politics and public service. He began by being elected to Congress. A series of important positions followed, culminating in Reagn's selection of him as vice-president and finall election as president (1988). Barbara was at his side all the way. She was a major assett, both in her husband's political campaigns and his appointed offices. During their 44 years of marriage at the time they reached the White House, Mrs. Bush had moved the family with 6 kids 29 times, often on her own while her husband was involved with his career. George wasvery often away from home and Barabara became the keystone of family live. Dealing with thetrialand tribulations of childhood and the responsibilities of mauntaining a household. Tragedy struck whrn the Buhes lost their Robin, only about 4-years old at the time to leukemia. The loss had aowerful impact on both parents. She explains, "Because of Robin, George and I love every living human more."


George and Barbara Bush had six children, four boys and two girls. The children were: George, Robin, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy.

George Walker (1946- )

The Bush's oldest child was born in 1946 while his father was still at Yale. Although not born in Texas, he is the most Texan of all the children and was elected Governor in 199?. He graduate from Yale and Harvard Business School. He won the 2000 election, although he received fewer votes than Vice President Gore, becoming the 43 president. He was the only presidential son to achieve the presidency with the exceotion of John Quincey Adanms. The direction of his presidency was raducally altered by the 9-11 terror attacks.

Pauline Robinson (Robin) (1949-53)

George W. remembers his parents driving up to Houston Elementary school in 1953. He expected to see his younger sister in the car. She was surprised to see she wasn't there. It was then his parents told him that his younger sister had died. Robin had died of leukemia, 2 months before her 4th birthday. The Bush's were devestated and still recall Robin with great pain and have trouble talking about it. The parents were not yet 30.

John Ellis (1953- )

John known as Jeb stidied at the University of Texas. He worked as a banker in Texas and real estate developer in Miami. He was appointed as State Secretary of Commerce and then won election as governor. He converted to Catholocism to marry Mexican-born Columba. The Bush's have three children. If his brother is reelected in 2004, Jeb will certainly run for president in 2008.

Neil Mallon(1955- )

Neil attended Tulane and entered the oil business. He was a target of investigation in the Davings and Loan crisis of the 1980s concerning the Silverado Savings and Loan. He is now an investment consultant. He has sponsored a reading program for children known as Ignite! which uses the internet. He married Sharon ??? and has three children. He and Sharon are seaparted.

Marvin (1956- )

Marvin attended the University of Virginia. He worked for investment banking firms and has sinced foinded his own investment company. He married Margaret ?? and they are raising two children in Alexandria, Virginia.

Dorothy (1959- )

Dorthy was known as Doro. She was the youngest child in a household with four older brothers. She has worked as a travel agent, bookeeper, and tourism promoter. She also worked with the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C. She married William LeBlond in 181, but they divirced. She then marroed Robert Koch who worked for House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt. They were married at Camp David. They are raising four children.

Children's Clothes

The boys all seem to have worn short pants suits as boys. George W. wore short pants suits with cowboy boots. The two younger boys wore Eton summer short pants suits. I'm not sure when they began wearing longpants suits, but by age 7 they all appear to have been wearing longs.

Figure 1.--After graduating from Yale, George Bush took his young family to Texas. He is pictured here with Barbara, George W, and his parenrts, Dorthy and Prescott Bush at an airfield in Midland, Texas during 1950. Note George W's short pants suit and cowboy boots.


For their parents moving to Texas was an adventure, giving the young mairred couple a change to get out on their own. Few places in America could be as different from the affluent New York suburbs where they had grown up.

Political Career

Perhaps no other indivisdualmentered the White house with experiences qualifying him for the presidency.


Like his father, Prescott Bush, who was elected a Senator from Connecticut in 1952, George became interested in public service and politics. He served two terms as a Representative to Congress from Texas. Twice he ran unsuccessfully for the Senate. Then he was appointed to a series of high-level positions, compiling quite a resume. He served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U. S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Governor Reagan chose Bush as his vice presidential running mate and he this served two terms. Perhaps no president was better qualified for the office.


Bush campaigned for the Republican nomination for President (1980). He lost, but was chosen as a running mate by Ronald Reagan. As Vice President, Bush had responsibility in several domestic areas, including Federal deregulation and anti-drug programs, and visited scores of foreign countries.

Presidential Campaign (1988)

Many Democrats were confident that after President Reagan's two terms that they could regain the White House in 1988. Vice-President George Bush was the early favorite for the Republican nomination. He was shicked by a third-place finish in the Iowa caucases (after Bob Senator Dole and Reverend Pat Robertson). Convincing victories in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries convinced his opponents to withdraw from the race. Bush chose Indiana Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana as his running mate. This proved to be the only issue at the Convention. Many saw Quayle as not only young, but ill prepared on the issues. The Democratic nomination was wide open. Senator Gary Hart was an early favorite for the Democratic nomination, but withdrew as a result of charges concerning sexual improprieties. Many Democrats wanted New York Govenor Mario Cuomo to run, but he refused. Gradually Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis emerged as the front-runner. Jesse Jackson was the only other active candidate by the time of the Convention in Atlanta. Dukakis won handily on the first ballot. He chose Texas Senator Loyd Benson as his running mate in the hope of carrying Texas. After the two conventions and at the start if the campaign, public opinion polls gave Dukakis a substantial lead. Many presidential races are won or lost with the choice of candidates. Historians generally conceded that Dukakis conducted one of the worst campaigns in Americam presidential history. In an effort to demostrate his that he was not weak on national defene, he had himself photographed in a tank. The photograph released made him look rediculous. Bush on the other hand waged on the most effective campaigns, although Democrats charged that he played the race card. At issue were campaign ads the Republicans ran about a convicted murder, Willie Horton. These ads are still a matter of contention, but the issues involved are often not fairly stated by party partisans. There is no doubt that the ads played a role in the reversal of fortunes in the polls. Vice-President Bush emerged victorious in the general election. The Republican victory was overwealming, 426 electoral votes to 112 for the Democrats. The Republicand 42 states. The Democratic states were mostly clustered in the Northeast (New York and Connecticut), Upper Mid-west, and Pacific Northwest. The Republicans won all the battle-ground (swing) states.

Presidency (1989-93)

George Bush brought to the White House a dedication to traditional American values and a determination to direct them toward making the United States "a kinder and gentler nation." In his Inaugural Address he pledged in "a moment rich with promise" to use American strength as "a force for good". His presidency would be dominated by two national security crises, both of which he handled brilliantly. His popularity, however, was eroded by a faltering economy.

Foreign policy

President Bush when he became to the presidency faced a dramatically changing world. Although President Bush proved to be only a one-term president, he precided over perhaps the most consequential presidency in foreign policy since World War II. During his presidency. the Cold War ended after 40 bitter years. This was in part the work of American foreign policy given real bite by President Reagan and his assault on the Evil Empire. Vice President Bush was an important adviser in this process. As a result, within months of becoming president, the Berlin Wall fell (1989). In a few months of his presidency, President Bush did little to foment the underlying process that led to the failure of Communism. He did a great deal, however, to make possible a non-violent path that General Secrtary Gorbechov chose. The Berlin Wall would not have fallen if Gorbechov had chosen to use force as the East German leadership was emploring him to do. The same was true of the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union. Again Gorbechov refrained from using violence in Estonia and other republic desiring independence. It was President Bush's careful diplomacy that p;ayed an important role in makin that possible. The ebd result was that the Communist empire broke up, and the The Soviet Union ceased to exist, ending the Cold War. [Nelson and Pery] Reformist President Mikhail Gor bachev, whom Bush had supported, resigned. While Bush hailed themarch of democracy, he insisted on restraint in U.S. policy toward the group of new nations. In the midst of the dramatic developments in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, a new international crisis emerged in the Middle Wast. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, bankrupted by the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) that he had launched, invaded oil rich Kuwait (1980). This was Bush's greatest foreign policy test. He not only invaded Kuwait launching what became the Persian Gulf War. (1990-91) From Kuwait, Saddam was poised to continue south into Saudi Arabia. This would have given him control over a substantial portion of the world's vital oil resources. Vowing to free Kuwait, Bush rallied the United Nations, the U. S. people, and Congress and sent 425,000 American troops to defend Saudi Aabia and liberate Kuwait. President Bush also effectively asembled an international coalition which provided another 118,000 troops. After weeks of air and missile bombardment, the 100-hour land battle dubbed Desert Storm routed Iraq's million-man army. In other areas of foreign policy, President Bush sent American troops into Panama to overthrow the corrupt regime of General Manuel Noriega, who was threatening the security of the Canal and the Americans living there. Noriega was brought to the United States for trial as a drug trafficker.

Social issues

The economy

Presidential Campaign (1992)

The Republicans renominated President Bush. The Democrats nominated another southerner, the personable former Arkanasa Governor William Clinton. Despite unprecedented popularity from national security triumphs, Bush was unable as the end of his term of office to withstand discontent at home from a faltering economy, rising violene in inner cities, and continued high deficit spending. He lost support from conservatives for not keeping his campaign pledge, 'Read my lips, no new taxes'. Federal Reserve policy had a major imapact on the economy and thus the election. Govenor Clinton proved to be a better camaigner. Bush lost his bid for reelection to Clinton. Third-party candidate Ross Perot was a factor in the race, drawing more votes from Bush than Clinton.


Nelson, Muchael and Barbara A. Perry. 41: Inside thePresidency of George H.W. Bush (20914), 280p.

Wead, Doug. All the President's Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families (Atria: New York, 2003), 456p.


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Created: June 25, 1999
Last changed: 11:17 PM 2/4/2015