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Bush finally reached the White House's top seat in 1989; he won the 1988 election against
Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, becoming the first sitting vice president to be elected
president since 1837. During his nomination acceptance speech at the 1988 Republican National
Convention, Bush famously stated, "Read my lips: No new taxes."

During his presidency, Bush skillfully handled foreign affairs during a tumultuous time for the
nation. Just months into his first term, he responded to the dissolve of the Soviet Union and
oversaw the U.S. military's removal of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega from power. Not
long after, Bush responded to then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait (August
1990), creating a national coalition and leading a military strike to drive Hussein out of the oilrich country. Bush's handling of the invasion in Kuwait is largely viewed as his greatest
presidential success.

Bush delivered a speech to the American public as the invasion began, stating, "Now the 28
countries with forces in the Gulf area have exhausted all reasonable efforts to reach a peaceful
resolution. [We] have no choice but to drive Saddam from Kuwait by force. We will not fail. We
are determined to knock out Saddam Hussein's nuclear bomb potential. We will also destroy his
chemical weapons facilities. Much of Saddam's artillery and tanks will be destroyed. ... Our
objectives are clear: Saddam Hussein's forces will leave Kuwait."

Despite his global successes, economic problems at home have been blamed for Bush's reelection bid failure in 1992.

Later Career

When his eldest son, George W. Bush, was elected president in 2000, George Bush Sr. made
many public appearances, frequently to speak in support of his son. In addition to being a proud
and supportive father, he has lent his support to several political causes. In 2005, he joined forces
with former president Bill Clintonthe Democratic candidate who defeated him in the 1992
electionto help people affected by Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast region,
especially Louisiana and Mississippi. The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund raised more than $100
million in donations in its first few months.

In 2011, Bush was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

In November 2012, an 88-year-old Bush was admitted to a Houston hospital to be treated for a
cough related to bronchitis. His cough reportedly improved, but he remained hospitalized
because of other health setbacks. Bush developed a "persistent fever," according to an Associated
Press report. In late December, he was moved into an intensive care unit and was reportedly in
guarded condition. Bush has lower-body parkinsonism and has been in a wheelchair for more
than a year, according to a Reuters report.

The former president seemed to be in good spirits the following July. Photos released to the press
showed Bush with a shaved head. He had cut off his hair to his support to a young child battling
leukemia. The toddler is the son of a Secret Service agent who guards Bush. Bush and his wife
have also contributed to a special fund established to pay for the boy's medical expenses.

Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital in December 2014 after experiencing
shortness of breath. In 2013, he had been hospitalized for two months following a bout with
bronchitis. Despite his health set-backs over the years, Bush has skydived on a number of
milestone birthdays since leaving the White House. His last jump was in June 2014 in
celebration of his 90th birthday. He had previously parachuted for his 80th and 85th birthdays.

In July 2015, the 91-year-old former president fell at his summer home in Kennebunkport,
Maine, and broke a vertebrae in his neck. His medical condition was considered not life
threatening, according to his spokesman.

Bush spends part of the year in Houston, Texas, with his wife Barbara Bush. The couple also
stays at their home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Married for nearly 70 years, George and Barbara
Bush have six children: George, Robin, Jeb, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. Their daughter, Robin,
died in 1953.