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_Bush

George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924 –
George H. W. Bush
November 30, 2018) was an American statesman and
Republican Party politician who served as the 41st
President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Prior to
assuming the presidency, Bush served as the 43rd Vice
President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. As a
Republican, he had previously been a U.S. Representative,
Ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence. During
his career in public service, he was known simply as George
Bush; after his eldest son George W. Bush became
President of the United States in 2001, he was referred to as
"George H. W. Bush", "Bush 41", or "George Bush Sr".

A scion of the Bush family, he was born in Milton,


Massachusetts, to Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941,
41st President of the United States
Bush postponed his university studies, enlisted in the
In office
United States Navy on his 18th birthday, and became one of
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
the youngest aviators in the U.S. Navy.[nb 1] He served until
September 1945, and then attended Yale University.
Vice President Dan Quayle
Graduating in 1948, he moved his family to West Texas, Preceded by Ronald Reagan
where he entered the oil business and became a millionaire Succeeded by Bill Clinton
by the age of 40 in 1964. 43rd Vice President of the United States

Soon after founding his own oil company, Bush became In office
involved in politics. He was defeated in his first election, for January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
the U.S. Senate in 1964, but won election to the House of President Ronald Reagan
Representatives from Texas's 7th district in 1966. He was Preceded by Walter Mondale
re-elected in 1968 but was defeated for election to the
Succeeded by Dan Quayle
Senate again in 1970. In 1971, President Richard Nixon
11th Director of Central Intelligence
appointed Bush as Ambassador to the United Nations, and
In office
in 1973, Bush became the Chairman of the Republican
January 30, 1976 – January 20, 1977
National Committee. The following year, President Gerald
Ford appointed Bush as Chief of the Liaison Office in China President Gerald Ford
and later made Bush the Director of Central Intelligence. Deputy Vernon A. Walters
Bush ran for president in 1980 and was defeated in the E. Henry Knoche
Republican primary by Ronald Reagan, who chose him as
Preceded by William Colby
his running mate in his successful bid for presidency.
During his eight-year tenure as Vice President, Bush Succeeded by Stansfield Turner
headed task forces on deregulation and the war on drugs. 2nd Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office to the
People's Republic of China
Bush ran a successful campaign in 1988, defeating In office
Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis, becoming the first September 26, 1974 – December 7, 1975
incumbent vice president in 152 years to be elected

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president. Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency: President Gerald Ford
military operations were conducted in Panama and the
Preceded by David K. E. Bruce
Persian Gulf; the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, and the Soviet
Succeeded by Thomas S. Gates
Union dissolved two years later. Bush also signed the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which created a
49th Chairman of the Republican National
Committee
trade bloc consisting of the United States, Canada, and
In office
Mexico. Domestically, Bush reneged on a 1988 campaign
January 19, 1973 – September 16, 1974
promise and signed a bill to increase taxes. In the wake of a
weak recovery from an economic recession and the Preceded by Bob Dole
diminution of foreign policy as a major issue in a post-Cold Succeeded by Mary Smith
War political climate, he lost the 1992 presidential election 10th United States Ambassador to the United
to Democrat Bill Clinton. Nations
In office
After leaving office in 1993, Bush was active—often March 1, 1971 – January 18, 1973
alongside his former opponent Bill Clinton—in
President Richard Nixon
humanitarian activities. With George W. Bush's victory in
the 2000 presidential election, Bush and his son became Preceded by Charles Yost
the second father–son pair to serve as president, following Succeeded by John A. Scali
John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Bush's second son, Member of the
Jeb Bush, served as the 43rd Governor of Florida and U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 7th district
sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
In office
Bush died on November 30, 2018, at the age of 94 years,
January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1971
171 days. He was the third-longest-lived vice president at
the time of his death, and has the current distinction of Preceded by John Dowdy
being the longest-lived president in U.S. history. Succeeded by Bill Archer
Personal details
Born George Herbert Walker Bush
Contents June 12, 1924
Milton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Early life and education
World War II Died November 30, 2018 (aged 94)
Marriage and college years Houston, Texas, U.S.
Business career Resting place George Bush Presidential
Early political career (1963–1980) Library
Congressional years (1967–1971) Political party Republican
Ambassador to the United Nations (1971–1973)
Spouse(s) Barbara Pierce
Chairman of the Republican National Committee (m. 1945; died 2018)
(1973–1974)
Head of U.S. Liaison Office in China (1974–1975) Children George · Robin · Jeb · Neil ·
Director of Central Intelligence (1976–1977) Marvin · Dorothy
Other positions (1977–1981) Parents Prescott Bush
1980 presidential campaign Dorothy Walker
Vice presidency (1981–1989)
First term, 1981–1985
Relatives See Bush family
Second term, 1985–1989 Education Yale University (BA)
1988 presidential campaign Signature
Presidency (1989–1993)
Domestic policy
Economy

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Education Website Presidential Library


Major initiatives (http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu)
Points of Light Military service
Daily Point of Light Award
Allegiance United States
Judicial appointments
Foreign policy Service/branch United States Navy
Panama Years of 1942–1945
Soviet Union service
Gulf War
Rank Lieutenant (junior grade)
Somali Civil War
Japan Unit Fast Carrier Task Force
Israel Battles/wars World War II
NAFTA
Awards Distinguished Flying
Pardons
Honorary degrees Cross
Awards and honors Air Medal
1992 presidential campaign Presidential Unit Citation
Public image
Post-presidency (1993–2018)
During Clinton presidency
During George W. Bush presidency
During Obama presidency
2016 election
During Trump presidency
Personal life
Faith
Health and longevity
Sexual misconduct allegations
Death and funeral
Legacy
Presidential library
See also
Notes
References
Further reading
Primary sources
External links

Early life and education


George Herbert Walker Bush was born at 173 Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts,[1] on June 12, 1924, to
Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy (Walker) Bush. The Bush family moved from Milton to Greenwich,
Connecticut, shortly after his birth. Bush was named after his maternal grandfather, George Herbert Walker, who
was known as "Pop". In turn, Bush was called "Poppy" as a tribute to his namesake.[2]

Bush began his formal education at the Greenwich Country Day School in Greenwich. Beginning in 1938, he
attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he held a number of leadership positions that
included president of the senior class, 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

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teams.[3]

World War II
The United States formally entered World
War II in December 1941, following Japan's
surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
Six months later, Bush enlisted into the U.S.
Navy[4] immediately after he graduated from
Phillips Academy on his eighteenth birthday.
He became a naval aviator, taking training
for aircraft carrier operations aboard USS
Sable.[3][5] After completing the 10-month
George H. W. Bush, c. 1925
course, he was commissioned as an ensign in
the United States Naval Reserve at Naval Air
Station Corpus Christi on June 9, 1943 (just three days before his 19th
birthday), which made him one of the youngest aviators in the U.S. Navy.[nb 1] Crewmen of the submarine
USS Finback rescue Bush
In September 1943, he was assigned to Torpedo Squadron 51 (VT-51) as the
photographic officer.[4] The following year, his squadron was based in USS San
Jacinto as a member of Air Group 51, where his lanky physique earned him the nickname "Skin".[9] 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.[4]

After Bush's promotion to lieutenant (junior grade) on August 1, 1944, San


Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands. Bush
piloted one of four Grumman TBM Avengers of VT-51 that attacked the
Japanese installations on Chichijima.[10] His crew for the mission, which
occurred on September 2, 1944, included Radioman Second Class John Delaney
and Lt.(jg) William White.[4] Although his aircraft was hit by flak during the
attack, Bush successfully released bombs and scored several hits.[4] With his
engine ablaze, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other
crew member bailed out;[11] the other man's parachute did not open.[4] Bush
waited for four hours in an inflated raft, while several fighters circled
protectively overhead, until he was rescued by the submarine USS Finback.[4]
Bush in his Grumman TBM For the next month, he remained in Finback and participated in the rescue of
Avenger aboard USS San other aviators. Several of those shot down during the attack were executed, and
Jacinto in 1944 their livers were eaten by their captors.[12] This experience shaped Bush
profoundly, leading him to ask, "Why had I been spared and what did God have
for me?"[13]

In November 1944, Bush returned to San Jacinto 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[11] for
which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to
San Jacinto.[4] Bush was then reassigned to a training wing for torpedo bomber crews at Norfolk Navy Base,
Virginia. His final assignment was to a new torpedo squadron, VT-153, based at Naval Air Station Grosse Ile,
Michigan. Bush was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in September 1945, one month after the surrender
of Japan.[14]

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Marriage and college years


When Bush was still in the Navy, he married Barbara Pierce (1925–2018) in Rye, New York on January 6, 1945.[15]
The marriage produced six children: George W. (b. 1946), Robin (1949–1953), Jeb (b. 1953), Neil (b. 1955), Marvin
(b. 1956), and Doro (b. 1959).[14] At the time of his wife's death on April 17, 2018, George H. W. had been married
to Barbara for 73 years; theirs was the longest presidential marriage in American history.[16] They had become the
longest-married presidential couple in 2000 when their marriage surpassed the 54-year (1764–1818) marriage of
John and Abigail Adams.[17]

After Bush received his military discharge, he enrolled at Yale University. He earned an undergraduate degree in
economics on an accelerated program that enabled him to graduate in two and a half years, rather than the usual
four.[14] He was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and was elected its president.[18] He also
captained the Yale baseball team and played in the first two College World Series as a left-handed first baseman.[19]
Bush was the team captain during his senior year in 1948, and he met Babe Ruth before a game; the event took
place only weeks before Ruth's death. Like his father, he was also a member of the Yale cheerleading squad.[20]
Late in his junior year, he was initiated into the Skull and Bones secret society; his father Prescott Bush had been
initiated into the same society in 1917. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa when he graduated from Yale in 1948 with
a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.[21]

Business career
After graduating from Yale, Bush moved his young family to West Texas. His father's business connections proved
useful as he ventured into the oil business, starting as an oil field equipment salesman[22] for Dresser Industries, a
subsidiary of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., where Prescott Bush had served on the board of directors for 22
years.[23] While working for Dresser, Bush lived in various places with his family: Odessa, Texas; Ventura,
Bakersfield and Compton, California; and Midland, Texas.[24] (According to eldest son George W. Bush, then age
two, the family lived in one of the few duplexes in Odessa with an indoor bathroom, which they "shared with a
couple of hookers".)[25] Bush started the Bush-Overbey Oil Development company in 1951 and in 1953 co-founded
the Zapata Petroleum Corporation, an oil company that drilled in the Permian Basin in Texas.[26] In 1954, he was
named president of the Zapata Offshore Company, a subsidiary which specialized in offshore drilling.[27]

Shortly after the subsidiary became independent in 1959, Bush moved the company and his family from Midland
to Houston.[28] He continued serving as president of the company until 1964, and later chairman until 1966, when
he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives.[23] By that time, Bush had become a millionaire.[29]

Early political career (1963–1980)

Congressional years (1967–1971)


Bush's career in politics began in 1963 when he was elected chairman of the Harris County, Texas Republican
Party. The following year, he ran against incumbent Democrat Ralph W. Yarborough in the U.S. Senate race. He
presented himself as a young Conservative Republican in contrast to the aging liberal Democrat Yarborough. He
campaigned against civil rights legislation pending before Congress, stating that he believed it gave too much
power to the federal government.[30] Bush lost the election 56% to 44%,[31] though he did outpoll Republican
presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, who lost by an overwhelming margin to Lyndon B. Johnson.[30]

Bush and the Harris County Republicans played a role in the development of the new Republican Party of the late
20th century. First, Bush worked to absorb the John Birch Society members, who were trying to take over the
Republican Party. Second, during and after the civil rights movement, Democrats in the South who were

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committed to segregation left their party, and although the "country


club Republicans" had differing ideological beliefs, they found common
ground in hoping to expel the Democrats from power.[32]

In 1966, Bush was elected to


a seat in the United States
House of Representatives
from the 7th District of
Texas; he won 57 percent of
the ballots cast in a race
against Democrat Frank
Briscoe, who was the
district attorney of Harris
Former President Dwight D. County.[33][34] Bush was the Bush in 1969
Eisenhower with Bush first Republican to
represent Houston in the
U.S. House.[23] Bush's representative district included Tanglewood, the
Houston neighborhood that was his residence;[35] his family had moved into Tanglewood in the 1960s.[36] His
voting record in the House was generally conservative: Bush voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1968, although it was
generally unpopular in his district. He supported the Nixon administration's Vietnam policies, but broke with
Republicans on the issue of birth control, which he supported.[23] Despite being a first-term congressman, Bush
was appointed to the powerful United States House Committee on Ways and Means, where he voted to abolish the
military draft.[29] He was elected to a second term in 1968.[37]

In 1970, Nixon convinced Bush to relinquish his House seat in order to run for the Senate against Ralph
Yarborough, who was a fierce Nixon critic. In the Republican primary, Bush easily defeated conservative Robert J.
Morris by a margin of 87.6% to 12.4%.[38] Nixon went to Longview, Texas, to campaign for Bush and gubernatorial
candidate Paul Eggers, a Dallas lawyer who was a close friend of U.S. Senator John G. Tower.[39] Former
Congressman Lloyd Bentsen, a more moderate Democrat and native of Mission in south Texas, defeated
Yarborough in the Democratic primary.[29] Yarborough endorsed Bentsen, who went on to defeat Bush, 53.4 to
46.6%.[40]

Ambassador to the United Nations (1971–1973)


Following his 1970 loss, Bush was well known as a prominent
Republican businessman from the "Sun Belt", a group of states in the
Southern part of the country.[29] Nixon noticed and appreciated the
sacrifice Bush had made of his Congressional position,[23] so he
appointed him United States Ambassador to the United Nations.[21] He
was confirmed unanimously by the Senate, and served for two years,
beginning in 1971.[23]

His ambassadorship was marked by a notable defeat on the China


question. On October 25, 1971, the General Assembly voted to expel the Bush as ambassador to the United
Republic of China and replace it with the People's Republic of China.[41] Nations, 1971
Bush was hissed when he got up to speak, and the delegates cheered
and danced after defeating a US motion to require a two-thirds
supermajority.[42] The resolution then won a two-thirds supermajority anyway, as the United States lost the
support of every NATO country.[41] Although Bush condemned the "gladiatorial ugliness" of the debate,[42] he

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advocated friendly relations with the Chinese delegation.[43] Two months later, Bush even placed himself in the
position of depending on a Chinese veto in the 1971 Secretary-General selection. However he did not tell the
Chinese, who unexpectedly abstained and allowed Kurt Waldheim to be selected as the next Secretary-General of
the United Nations.[44]

Chairman of the Republican National Committee (1973–1974)


After Bob Dole resigned as chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1972, Nixon named Bush to the
position.[45][21] Bush took over in January 1973 and held this position as the Watergate scandal grew more
damaging to Nixon.[46] He initially defended Nixon steadfastly, but as Nixon's complicity became clear he focused
more on defending the Republican Party. As chairman, Bush formally requested that Nixon eventually resign for
the good of the Republican party.[23] 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... [President Gerald Ford's swearing-in offered] indeed a new spirit, a new lift."[47]

Head of U.S. Liaison Office in China (1974–1975)


President Gerald Ford appointed Bush to be Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the
People's Republic of China. Since the United States maintained diplomatic
relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) instead of the People's Republic of
China, Bush did not hold the diplomatic rank of ambassador. However, Bush acted
like an ambassador anyway, ignoring instructions from Henry Kissinger to stay
away from diplomatic functions.[48] The 14 months that he spent in China were
seen as beneficial for China–United States relations.[23]

After Ford assumed the presidency, Bush was under serious consideration for being
nominated as vice president. Ford eventually narrowed his list to Nelson
Rockefeller and Bush. White House Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld reportedly
Bush as U.S. Liaison to preferred Rockefeller over Bush. Rockefeller was finally named and confirmed.[49]
China, circa 1975
Ford again passed over Bush when he chose Bob Dole to replace Rockefeller on the
1976 presidential ticket.[50]

Director of Central Intelligence (1976–1977)


In 1976 Ford brought Bush back to Washington to become Director of
Central Intelligence (DCI), replacing William Colby.[51] He served in
this role for 357 days, from January 30, 1976, to January 20, 1977.[52]
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been rocked by a series of
revelations, including those based on investigations by the Church
Committee regarding illegal and unauthorized activities by the CIA,
and Bush was credited with helping to restore the agency's morale.[53]
In his capacity as DCI, Bush gave national security briefings to Jimmy
Bush, as CIA Director, listens at a
Carter both as a presidential candidate and as president-elect, and
meeting following the
discussed the possibility of remaining in that position in a Carter assassinations in Beirut of Francis
administration,[54] but did not do so. He was succeeded by Deputy E. Meloy Jr. and Robert O. Waring,
Director of Central Intelligence E. Henry Knoche, who served as acting 1976.
Director of Central Intelligence until Stansfield Turner was

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confirmed.[55]

During Bush's year in charge of the CIA, the U.S. national security apparatus actively supported Operation Condor
operations and right-wing military dictatorships in Latin America.[56][57][58]

Other positions (1977–1981)


After Democrat Jimmy Carter took power in 1977, Bush became chairman on the Executive Committee of the First
International Bank in Houston.[59] He later spent a year as a part-time professor of Administrative Science at Rice
University'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."[60] Between 1977 and 1979, he was a director of the Council on Foreign
Relations foreign policy organization.[61]

1980 presidential campaign


Bush decided in the late 1970s that he was going to run for president in
1980; in 1979, he attended 850 political events ("cattle calls") and
traveled more than 250,000 miles (400,000 km) to campaign for the
nation's highest office. In the contest for the Republican Party
1980 campaign logo
nomination, Bush stressed his wide range of government experience,
while competing against rivals Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee,
Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, Congressman John Anderson of Illinois (who would later run as an independent),
Congressman Phil Crane, also of Illinois, former Governor John Connally of Texas, former Minnesota Governor
Harold Stassen, and the front-runner Ronald Reagan, a noted former actor and the former Governor of
California.[49]

At the outset of the 1980 primary race, Bush focused heavily on


winning the January 21 Iowa caucuses, including 31 visits to the state;
five months earlier he had won the Iowa Straw Poll.[62] Reagan,
however, far ahead in the polls, campaigned little. Bush represented the
centrist wing in the GOP, whereas Reagan represented conservatives.
Bush famously labeled Reagan's supply side-influenced plans for
massive tax cuts "voodoo economics".[63] His strategy proved useful, to
Ronald Reagan, moderator John
Breen, and Bush participate in the some degree, as he won in Iowa with 31.5% to Reagan's 29.4%. After
Nashua, New Hampshire the win, Bush stated that his campaign was full of momentum, or "the
Presidential Debate, 1980 Big Mo".[64]

As a result of the loss, Reagan replaced his campaign manager,


reorganized his staff, and concentrated on the New Hampshire primary. 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 Breen, ordered Reagan's microphone turned off, his angry
response, "I am paying for this microphone," struck a chord with the public. Bush ended up losing New
Hampshire's primary with 23% to Reagan's 50%. Bush lost most of the remaining primaries as well, and formally
dropped out of the race in May of that year.[49]

With his political future in doubt, Bush sold his house in Houston and bought his grandfather's estate in
Kennebunkport, Maine, known as "Walker's Point".[65] At the Republican Convention, Reagan made the last-
minute decision to select Bush as his vice presidential nominee, placing him on the winning Republican

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presidential ticket of 1980.[66][67]

Vice presidency (1981–1989)

First term, 1981–1985


As vice president, Bush generally maintained a typically low profile while he recognized 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, about two miles from the White
House. After selling the house in Tanglewood, the Bushes declared a room in The Houstonian Hotel in Houston as
their official voting address.[35] The Bushes attended a large number of public and ceremonial events in their
positions, including many state funerals, 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, Bush stayed in contact with members of Congress and kept the president informed on occurrences
on Capitol Hill.[49]

On March 30, 1981 (early into the administration), Reagan was shot and seriously
wounded by John Hinckley Jr. in Washington, D.C. Bush was in Fort Worth, Texas,
and immediately flew back to Washington D.C. because he was next in line to the
presidency. Reagan's cabinet convened in the White House Situation Room, where
they discussed various issues, including the availability of the "nuclear football".
When Bush's plane landed, he was advised by his aides 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."[49] This made a positive impression on Reagan,[49] who recovered and
returned to work within two weeks. From then on, the two men would have regular
Vice President Bush
Thursday lunches in the Oval Office.[68]
official portrait (1981)
In November 1982, Bush toured Africa,
the first instance of a high United States
government official visiting the continent since the Reagan
administration began. Bush told reporters that while he would allow for
heads of state to dictate how each meeting would transpire, there was
an expectation on his part for discussions on the independence of
Namibia, adding that the United States was going to retain the position
of no settlement in Namibia until Cuban troops in Angola were
withdrawn.[69] On November 15, Bush met with United States Secretary
of State George P. Shultz and Yuri Andropov in Moscow, Russia, to
discuss human rights and arms reductions. Bush later said, "The
meeting was frank, cordial and substantive. It gave both sides the
opportunity to exchange views on the state of their relations."[70]

At the end of January 1983, Bush began a seven-day tour of Western President Ronald Reagan with Bush
Europe intended to promote the arms reduction commitment being
advocated for by the Reagan administration.[71] During a February 8
news conference in Paris, Bush said the United States' invitations for the Soviet Union to consent to a reduction in
medium-range missiles were supported by Western Europe, which he stated had also consented to the deployment

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of new American missiles starting in the latter part of the year.[72] The following day, Bush defended American
nuclear arms policy when answering British Secretary General of the Committee on Nuclear Disarmament Bruce
Kent.[73]

In September 1983, Bush met with President of Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu, insisting during the meeting that
President Reagan intended to push for arms reductions at the Geneva talks with the Soviet Union.[74] Shortly
thereafter, Bush said the United States wanted better relations with all countries within the Eastern Bloc though he
stressed that NATO would retaliate in the event of any threatening of European military stability by the Soviets,[75]
and the vice president assailed the Soviet Union for the Berlin Wall and destroying the Korean Air Lines
jetliner.[76]

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. "It is not just the President, it is not just me
or the Congress. If these death-squad murders continue, you will lose
the support of the American people and that would indeed be a
tragedy."[77] 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. Bush was never told of the
Reagan and Bush in a meeting to
aides' concerns and a tense meeting was held in which some of
discuss the United States' invasion
Magaña's personnel brandished semiautomatic weapons and refused
of Grenada with a group of
bipartisan members of Congress in requests to take them outside.[78]
October 1983
Bush was assigned by Reagan to chair two special task forces, on
deregulation 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 United States. Both were popular issues with conservatives, and Bush, largely a
moderate, began courting them through his work.[49]

On June 14, 1984, Bush cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate in favor of the 10-warhead MX missile system.[79]

Second term, 1985–1989


Reagan and Bush ran for reelection in 1984. Their Democratic opponent, Walter Mondale, made history by
choosing a woman, New York Representative Geraldine Ferraro, as his running mate. She and Bush squared off in
a single televised vice presidential debate.[80] Ferraro served as a contrast to the Ivy-League educated Bush; she
represented a blue-collar district in Queens, New York. This distinction and her popularity among female
journalists left Bush at a disadvantage. Regardless, 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 were raised
for Bush.[49]

On July 13, 1985, Bush became the first vice president to serve as acting president when Reagan underwent
surgery to remove polyps from his colon; Bush served as the acting president for approximately eight hours.[81]

In 1986, the Reagan administration was shaken by a scandal when it was revealed that administration officials had
secretly arranged weapon sales to Iran during the Iran–Iraq War. The officials had used the proceeds to fund the
anti-communist Contras in Nicaragua, which was a direct violation of law. The scandal became known as the Iran–
Contra affair. When news of the public embarrassment broke to the media, Bush, like Reagan, stated that he had

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been "out of the loop" and unaware of the diversion of funds,[82]


although this was later questioned.[83] His diaries from that time stated
"I'm one of the few people that know fully the details" and as a result of
six pardons by Bush, the independent counsel's final report on the
Iran–Contra affair pointedly noted: "The criminal investigation of Bush
was regrettably incomplete."[84] In the Nicaragua v. United States case,
the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the U.S. had violated
international law by supporting the Contras in their rebellion against
the Nicaraguan government.[85]

In March 1986, Bush outlined the government's policy on the


combating of terrorism. In an interagency task force report presented
to President Reagan, Bush publicly stated that the strategy of the
federal government was to retaliate without "wantonly" terminating
human lives.[86]

In May 1986, Bush underwent a procedure to remove a malignant


International policy with the Soviet
growth from his left cheek. His spokesman, Marlin Fitzwater, said that
Union was a critical component of
doctors had found the growth weeks earlier.[87]
the political landscape in the late
1980s. Vice President Bush can be
In September 1987, Bush embarked on a month long trip to Poland and
seen here standing with President
European allied countries.[88] On September 22, Bush cast a tie
Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader
breaking vote in the Senate to save the Strategic Defense Initiative from Mikhail Gorbachev, on the New York
receiving a 800 million cut in funding.[89] On September 28, Bush City waterfront, 1988
delivered a televised address pledging that the US would forever be
aligned with Poland.[90]

On July 3, 1988, the guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes accidentally


shot down Iran Air Flight 655, killing 290 passengers. Bush said that he
would "never apologize for the United States of America. Ever. I don't
care what the facts are."[91]

1988 presidential campaign


As early as 1985, Bush had been planning a presidential run; he entered
the Republican primary for President of the United States in October
1987.[49] His challengers for the Republican presidential nomination
included U.S. Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, U.S. Representative Jack British Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher and Bush, 1986
Kemp of New York, former Governor Pete du Pont of Delaware, and
conservative Christian televangelist Pat Robertson.[92][93]

Bush was considered the early frontrunner for the nomination, but he
came in third in the Iowa caucus, behind winner Dole and runner-up
Robertson.[94] Much as Reagan had done in 1980, Bush reorganized his
staff and concentrated on the New Hampshire primary.[49] With Dole Campaign logo
ahead in New Hampshire, Bush ran television commercials portraying
the senator as a tax raiser;[95] he rebounded to win the state's primary.
Following the primary, Bush and Dole had a joint media appearance, when the interviewer asked Dole if he had
anything to say to Bush, Dole said, in response to the ads, "yeah, stop lying about my record!" in an angry tone.
This is thought to have hurt Dole's campaign to Bush's benefit. Bush continued seeing victory, winning many

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Southern primaries as well.[23] 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.[29]

As the 1988 Republican National Convention approached, there was


much speculation who Bush would choose to be his running mate. He
selected little-known U.S. Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana, who was
favored by conservatives. Despite Reagan's popularity, Bush trailed
Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, then Governor of
John Ashcroft and Vice President
Massachusetts, in most polls.[96] Bush campaign in St. Louis,
Missouri, 1988
Bush was occasionally criticized for his lack of eloquence when
compared to Reagan, but he delivered a well-received speech at the
1988 Republican National Convention. Known as the "thousand points of light" speech, the presentation described
Bush's vision of America. He endorsed the Pledge of Allegiance, capital punishment, and gun rights, and drew
upon his long-standing Christian beliefs to support both prayer in schools and oppose abortion.[96] The speech at
the convention included Bush's famous pledge: "Read my lips: no new taxes."[97]

The general election campaign between the two men was described in
2008 as one of the dirtiest in modern times.[97] Bush blamed Dukakis
for polluting the Boston Harbor as the Governor of Massachusetts.[23]
Bush also pointed out that Dukakis was opposed to a law that would
require all students to say the Pledge of Allegiance, a topic well covered
in Bush's nomination acceptance speech.[96]

The 1988 presidential electoral Dukakis's unconditional opposition to capital punishment led to a
votes by state pointed question being asked during the presidential debates.
Moderator Bernard Shaw asked Dukakis if he would hypothetically
support the death penalty if his wife, Kitty, were raped and
murdered.[98] Dukakis's response of no, as well as a provocative ad about convicted felon Willie Horton,
contributed toward Bush's characterization of Dukakis as "soft on crime".[23]

Bush defeated Dukakis and his running mate, Lloyd Bentsen, in the Electoral College, by 426 to 111 (Bentsen
received one vote from a faithless elector).[97] In the nationwide popular vote, Bush took 53.4% of the ballots cast
while Dukakis received 45.6%.[23] Bush became the first serving vice president to be elected president since Martin
Van Buren 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 in 1929.[49]

Presidency (1989–1993)
Bush was inaugurated on January 20, 1989, succeeding Ronald Reagan. He entered office at a period of change in
the world; the fall of the Berlin Wall came early in his presidency, and the collapse of the Soviet Union came in
1991.[99] He ordered military operations in Panama and the Persian Gulf, and, at one point, was recorded as having
a record-high approval rating of 89%.[100]

In his Inaugural Address, Bush said:

I come before you and assume the Presidency at a moment rich with promise. We live in a peaceful,
prosperous time, but we can make it better. For a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by

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freedom seems reborn; for in man's heart, if not in fact,


the day of the dictator is over. The totalitarian era is
passing, its old ideas blown away like leaves from an
ancient, lifeless tree. A new breeze is blowing, and a
nation refreshed by freedom stands ready to push on.
There is new ground to be broken, and new action to be
taken.[101]

Chief Justice William Rehnquist

Domestic policy administers the Presidential Oath of


Office to George H. W. Bush during
his January 20, 1989 inauguration
Economy ceremony at the United States
Early in his term, Bush faced the problem of what to do with leftover Capitol
deficits spawned during the Reagan years. At $220 billion in 1990, the
deficit had tripled since 1980. Bush was dedicated to curbing the
The Bush Cabinet
deficit, believing that America could not continue to be a leader
in the world without doing so. He began an effort to persuade the Office Name Term
Democratic controlled Congress to act on the budget; with President George H. 1989–1993
Republicans believing that the best way was to cut government W. Bush
spending, and Democrats convinced that the only way would be Vice President Dan Quayle 1989–1993
to raise taxes, Bush faced problems when it came to consensus Secretary of James 1989–1992
building.[29] State Baker
Lawrence 1992–1993
In the wake of a struggle with Congress, Bush was forced by the Eagleburger
Democratic majority to raise tax revenues; as a result, many
Secretary of Nicholas 1989–1993
Republicans felt betrayed because Bush had promised "no new Treasury Brady
taxes" in his 1988 campaign. Perceiving a means of revenge,
Secretary of Dick 1989–1993
Republican congressmen defeated Bush's proposal, which would Defense Cheney
enact spending cuts and tax increases that would reduce the
Attorney Dick 1989–1991
deficit by $500 billion over five years. Scrambling, Bush accepted General Thornburgh
the Democrats' demands for higher taxes and more spending, William P. 1991–1993
which alienated him from Republicans and gave way to a sharp Barr
decrease in popularity. Bush later said that he wished that he had Secretary of Manuel 1989–1993
never signed the bill.[29] Near the end of the 101st Congress, the the Interior Lujan
president and congressional members reached a compromise on Secretary of Clayton 1989–1991
a budget package that increased the marginal tax rate and phased Agriculture Yeutter
out exemptions for high-income taxpayers. Although he Edward 1991–1993
originally demanded a reduction in the capital gains tax, Bush Madigan
relented on this issue as well. This agreement with the Secretary of Robert 1989–1992
Democratic leadership in Congress proved to be a turning point Commerce Mosbacher
in the Bush presidency; his popularity among Republicans never Barbara 1992–1993
fully recovered.[23] Hackman
Franklin
Coming at around the same time as the budget deal, America Secretary of Elizabeth 1989–1990
entered into a mild recession, which lasted for six months. Many Labor Dole
government programs, such as welfare, increased.[29] As the Lynn Martin 1991–1993
unemployment rate edged upward in 1991, Bush signed a bill
providing additional benefits for unemployed workers.[23] The

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year 1991 was marked by many corporate reorganizations, which Secretary of Louis 1989–1993
laid off a substantial number of workers. Many now unemployed Health and Sullivan
Human
were Republicans and independents, who had believed that their
Services
jobs were secure.[102]
Secretary of Lauro 1989–1990
By his second year in office, Bush was told by his economic Education Cavazos
advisors to stop dealing with the economy, as they believed that Lamar 1990–1993
Alexander
he had done everything necessary to ensure his reelection. By
1992, interest and inflation rates were the lowest in years, but by Secretary of Jack Kemp 1989–1993
Housing and
midyear the unemployment rate reached 7.8%, the highest since
Urban
1984. In September 1992, the Census Bureau reported that 14.2% Development
of all Americans lived in poverty.[23] At a press conference in
Secretary of Samuel 1989–1992
1990, Bush told reporters that he found foreign policy more Transportation Skinner
enjoyable.[29] Andrew Card 1992–1993
Secretary of James 1989–1993
Education Energy Watkins
On April 5, 1989, Bush submitted to Congress the Educational Secretary of Ed 1989–1993
Excellence Act of 1989, a seven program education legislative Veterans Derwinski
Affairs
proposal with the intent of achieving "a better-educated
America."[103][104] The proposal was opposed by Republicans Chief of Staff John H. 1989–1991
Sununu
seeking to shrink government's role in education and met with a
James 1992–1993
lack of enthusiasm by Democrats.[105] A week after submitting
Baker
the proposal, Bush said his administration was seeking to provide
Samuel 1991–1992
waivers on "some regulations for poorer communities" and create Skinner
"a kind of performance-driven partial deregulation of education"
Administrator William 1989–1993
that would grant federal funding when schools showed high of the Reilly
levels of accountability coupled with academic performance. Environmental
[106][107] Later in the year, from September 27 to 28, Bush held a Protection
Agency
two-day summit with American governors dedicated solely to
education reform at the University of Virginia, the group forming Director of the Richard 1989–1993
Office of Darman
a consensus to overhaul the American education system for the
Management
country's students to be closer in test scores in science, and Budget
mathematics, and literacy.[108]
Director of the William 1989–1991
Office of Bennett
National Drug
Control Policy
Bob Martinez 1991–1993
United States Carla 1989–1993
Trade Anderson
Representative Hills
Bush's approval ratings (red)
In the 1990 State of the Union Address, Bush revealed his interest in
compared to his disapproval ratings
(blue) for his four-year presidency his administration spearheading the increase in American high school
graduation rates to 90% along with making American students "first in
the world" in the subjects of math and science by 2000.[109][110]

In a speech in the White House East Room on April 18, 1991, Bush called for both public and private citizens to
become involved with education reform: "To those who want to see real improvement in American education, I say
there will be no renaissance without revolution. It's time we held our schools, and ourselves, accountable for

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results."[111] On June 3, Bush advocated for community participation in reforming the national education system
and insisting America 2000 would fail "if we try to do it from Washington itself."[112] On October 4, Bush met with
representatives of the New American Schools Development Corp. at Camp David as the organization sought
US$200 million for education reform to aid with the forming of "new learning environments".[113] In a November
25 appearance in Columbus, Ohio, Bush joined Governor of Ohio George Voinovich in formally announcing a state
version of his education policy, "Ohio 2000". Bush concurrently declared he would be involved with a reform of
troubled schools and charged the Democrat-controlled Congress with "fighting tooth and nail against our most
important reforms".[114]

On July 23, 1992, Bush signed the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, a resuming of "many programs in the
Higher Education Act of 1965."[115]

Major initiatives
During a speech to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Bush announced a vision to
complete Space Station Freedom, resume exploration of the Moon and begin exploration of Mars.[116] Although a
space station was eventually constructed–work on the International Space Station 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 the U.S. space program.[117]

During his presidency, Bush signed a number of major bills into law,
including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; this was one of
the most pro-civil rights bills in decades. He was also the only president
to successfully veto a civil rights act, having vetoed the job-
discrimination protection Civil Rights Act of 1990.[118] Bush feared
racial quotas would be imposed, but later approved the watered-down
Civil Rights Act of 1991.[119] He worked to increase federal spending for
education, childcare, and advanced technology research. He also signed
the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act which provides monetary President Bush participates in a full
cabinet meeting in the Cabinet
compensation of people who had contracted cancer and a number of
Room in July 1992
other specified diseases as a direct result of their exposure to
atmospheric nuclear weapons testing undertaken by the United States
during the Cold War, or their exposure to high levels of radon while doing uranium mining. In dealing with the
environment, Bush reauthorized the Clean Air Act, 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.[29] Bush signed the Immigration Act of 1990,[120] which led to a 40 percent increase in
legal immigration to the United States.[121]

Bush became a life member of the National Rifle Association early in 1988 and had campaigned as a "pro-gun"
candidate with the NRA's endorsement.[122] In March 1989, he placed a temporary ban on the import of certain
semiautomatic rifles.[123] This action cost him endorsement from the NRA in 1992. Bush publicly resigned his life
membership in the organization after receiving a form letter from the 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."[124]

Points of Light
President Bush devoted attention to voluntary service as a means of solving some of America's most serious social
problems. He often used the "thousand points of light" theme to describe the power of citizens to solve community

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problems. In his 1989 inaugural address, President Bush said, "I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all
the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good."[125]

Four years later, in his report to the nation on The Points of Light
Movement, President Bush said, "Points of Light are the soul of
America. They are ordinary people who reach beyond themselves to
touch the lives of those in need, bringing hope and opportunity, care
and friendship. By giving so generously of themselves, these
remarkable individuals show us not only what is best in our heritage
but what all of us are called to become."[125]

President Bush presents Senator In 1990, the Points of Light Foundation was created as a nonprofit
Strom Thurmond with the organization in Washington D.C. to promote this spirit of
Presidential Medal of Freedom in a volunteerism.[126] In 2007, the Points of Light Foundation merged with
ceremony in the Oval Office. the Hands on Network with the goal of strengthening volunteerism,
streamlining costs and services and deepening impact.[127] Points of
Light, the organization created through this merger, has approximately
250 affiliates in 22 countries and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and companies dedicated to volunteer
service around the world. In 2012, Points of Light mobilized 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service
worth $635 million.[128]

On October 16, 2009, President Barack Obama held a Presidential Forum on Service hosted by former President
George H. W. Bush and Points of Light at the George Bush Presidential Library Center on the campus of Texas
A&M University. The event celebrated the contributions of more than 4,500 Daily Point of Light award winners
and honored President Bush's legacy of service and civic engagement.[129]

In 2011, Points of Light paid tribute to President George H. W. Bush and volunteer service at Washington, D.C.'s
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. President Bush was joined by Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill
Clinton, and George W. Bush to highlight the role volunteer service plays in people's lives.[130]

Daily Point of Light Award


President Bush created the Daily Point of Light Award in 1989 to recognize ordinary Americans from all walks of
life taking direct and consequential voluntary action in their communities to solve serious social problems. The
President focused great attention on these individuals and organizations, both to honor them for their tremendous
work and to call the nation to join them and multiply their efforts. By the end of his administration, President Bush
had recognized 1,020 Daily Points of Light representing all 50 states and addressing issues ranging from care for
infants and teenagers with AIDS to adult illiteracy and from gang violence to job training for the homeless.[125] The
Daily Point of Light continues to be awarded by Points of Light and up until his death President Bush continued to
sign all of the awards.[131]

On July 15, 2013, President Barack Obama welcomed President Bush to the White House to celebrate the 5,000th
Daily Point of Light Award.[132] They bestowed the award on Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton of Union, Iowa,
for their work founding Outreach, a nonprofit which delivers free meals to hungry children in 15 countries.[133]

Judicial appointments
Bush made two appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States — David Souter in 1990, and Clarence
Thomas in 1991. Additionally, he appointed 42 judges to the United States courts of appeals and 148 judges to the
United States district courts. Among these was Vaughn Walker, a gay man who ruled that California's Proposition

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8 amendment was unconstitutional.[134] Bush also experienced a number of judicial appointment controversies, as
11 nominees for 10 federal appellate judgeships were not processed by the Democratically-controlled Senate
Judiciary Committee.[135]

Foreign policy

Panama
In the 1980s, Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, a once U.S.-
supportive leader who was later accused of spying for Fidel Castro and
using Panama to traffic drugs into the United States, was one of the
most recognizable names in America and was constantly in 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 American companies and
government from making payments to Panama and freezing Bush speaks on the telephone
$56 million in Panamanian funds in American banks. Reagan sent regarding Operation Just Cause as
more than 2,000 American troops to Panama as well.[136] Unlike General Brent Scowcroft and Chief
Reagan, Bush was able to remove Noriega from power, but his of Staff John H. Sununu look on,
administration's unsuccessful post-invasion planning hindered the 1989

needs of Panama during the establishment of the young democratic


government.[137]

In May 1989, Panama held democratic elections, in which Guillermo Endara 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 shuttered
the U.S. embassy and removed the U.S. Ambassador from the country, and dispatched additional troops to
Panama to prepare the way for an upcoming invasion.[136] Noriega suppressed an October military coup attempt
and massive protests in Panama against him, but after a U.S. serviceman was shot by Panamanian forces in
December 1989, Bush ordered 24,000 troops into the Central American nation with an objective of removing
Noriega from power;[138] "Operation Just Cause" was a large-scale American military operation, and the first in
more than 40 years that was not related to the Cold War.[137]

The mission was controversial, but American forces achieved control of the country and Endara assumed the
presidency.[139] Noriega surrendered to the United States and was convicted and imprisoned on racketeering and
drug trafficking charges in April 1992.[140] President Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush visited Panama in June
1992, to give support to the first post-invasion Panamanian government. The visit was marred by protests which
broke into gunfire and tear gas, forcing Bush to depart a rally.[141]

Soviet Union
In 1989, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bush met with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in a
conference 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, among others, was apprehensive about the meeting, saying that it might be "premature" due to
concerns where, according to Condoleezza Rice, "expectations [would be] set that something was going to happen,
where the Soviets might grandstand and force [the U.S.] into agreements that would ultimately not be good for the
United States." But European leaders, including François Mitterrand and Margaret Thatcher, encouraged Bush to
meet with Gorbachev,[142] something that he did on December 2 and 3, 1989. Although no agreements were

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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."[143] The meeting was received as a very important step to the
Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev in
end of the Cold War.[144]
Helsinki summit in 1990
Another summit was held in
July 1991, where the
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) 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-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by Reagan and Gorbachev
in 1987. The contentions in START would reduce the strategic nuclear
weapons of the United States and the USSR by about 35% over seven
years, and the Soviet Union's land-based intercontinental ballistic George and Barbara Bush with
President Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first
missiles would be cut by 50%. Bush described START as "a significant
post-Soviet freely elected leader, at
step forward in dispelling half a century of mistrust".[145] After the
the White House, Washington, D.C.
dissolution of the USSR in 1991, President Bush and Russian president in 1992
Boris Yeltsin declared a U.S.–Russian strategic partnership, marking
the end of the Cold War.[146]

Gulf War
On August 2, 1990, Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein, invaded its oil-rich
neighbor to the south, Kuwait; Bush condemned the invasion[147] and
began rallying opposition to Iraq in the United States and among
European, Asian, and Middle Eastern allies.[29] Secretary of Defense
Dick Cheney traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Fahd; Fahd
requested United States military aid in the matter, fearing a possible
invasion of his country as well.[147] The request was met initially with
Air Force fighter jets. Iraq made attempts to negotiate a deal that would
President Bush visits American
allow the country to take control of half of Kuwait. Bush rejected this
troops in Saudi Arabia on
proposal and insisted on a complete withdrawal of Iraqi forces.[29] The
Thanksgiving Day, 1990
planning of a ground operation by U.S.-led coalition forces began
forming in September 1990, headed by General Norman Schwarzkopf,
Jr..[147] Bush spoke before a joint session of the United States Congress 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."[148] With the United Nations Security Council

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opposed to Iraq's violence, Congress authorized the use of military force[147] with a set goal of returning control of
Kuwait to the Kuwaiti government, and protecting America's interests abroad.[29]

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.[149] This pace would continue for the next four weeks, until a
ground invasion was launched on February 24, 1991. Allied forces
penetrated Iraqi lines and pushed toward Kuwait City 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.
[150][151] Critics labeled this decision premature, as hundreds of Iraqi
Bush meets with Robert Gates,
forces were able to escape; Bush responded by saying that he wanted to
General Colin Powell, Secretary
minimize U.S. casualties. Opponents further charged that Bush should
Dick Cheney and others about the
have continued the attack, pushing Hussein's army back to Baghdad, situation in the Persian Gulf and
then removing him from power.[29] Bush explained that he did not give Operation Desert Shield, January
the order to overthrow the Iraqi government because it would have 15, 1991
"incurred incalculable human and political costs... We would have been
forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq."[152]

Bush's approval ratings skyrocketed after the successful offensive.[29] 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.[153]

Several Iraqi families living in Belgium who lost loved ones in the Gulf War launched a lawsuit against George H.
W. Bush for committing what they claim are war crimes in the 1991 Amiriyah shelter bombing in Baghdad, which
killed more than 400 civilians. The suit was brought under Belgium's universal jurisdiction guarantees in March
2003.[154] According to the Human Rights Watch, the Amiriyah shelter bombing was "a serious violation of the
laws of war."[155]

Somali Civil War


Faced with a humanitarian disaster in Somalia that was exacerbated by a complete breakdown in civil order, the
United Nations had created the UNOSOM I mission in April 1992 to aid the situation through humanitarian
efforts, though the mission failed.[156] The Bush administration proposed American aid to the region by assisting in
creating a secure environment for humanitarian efforts and UN Resolution 794 was unanimously adopted by the
Security Council on December 3, 1992.[157] A lame duck president, Bush launched Operation Restore Hope the
following day under which the United States would assume command in accordance with Resolution 794.[158]
Fighting would escalate and continue into the Clinton administration.[159]

Japan
During an April 28, 1989 appearance in the press room of the White House, Bush announced that the U.S. would
continue a deal with Japan to produce the FSX advanced fighter jet. He said that promises had been made that
American jobs and technology would be safe and the proposal would bolster security for both the U.S. and
Japan.[160]

On November 21, 1989, Bush signed a measure that guaranteed reparations to Japanese-Americans who were
relocated into internment camps during World War II. Congress authorized US$20,000 (equivalent to $39,549 in

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2017) for each survivor.[161]

On March 12, 1990, Bush met for an hour with former Prime Minister of Japan Noboru Takeshita to discuss shared
economic issues and "the fact that their solution will require extraordinary efforts on both sides of the Pacific."[162]

On December 6, 1991, Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa apologized to the United States for the attack on
Pearl Harbor. The following day — fiftieth anniversary of the attack — Bush accepted Japan's apology for the event
that drew the United States into World War II. Bush urged that progress be made in improving relations between
the U.S. and Japan.[163]

Israel
On June 18, 1990, White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater confirmed President Bush had sent Prime
Minister of Israel Yitzhak Shamir a letter in which he congratulated the latter on his election and urged him to
support the proposed "Shamir initiative for peace", which would involve the participation of Palestinian Arabians
in local elections.[164] On June 20, Bush suspended American dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization
for the latter's refusal to condemn the Palestinian guerrilla raid of an Israeli beach the previous month.[165]

On August 11, 1992, following a meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Bush
announced he would seek the approval of Congress to bestow Israel up to $10 billion in loan guarantees to assist
the country with its absorbing of Soviet Union immigrants.[166][167]

NAFTA
The Bush administration and the Progressive Conservative Prime
Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney spearheaded the negotiations of
the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The agreement
would eliminate the majority of tariffs on products that were traded
among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This would encourage
trade among the countries. The treaty also restricted patents,
copyrights, and trademarks, and outlined the removal of investment
restrictions among the three countries.[168] President Bush announced
Standing: President Carlos Salinas,
the completion of NAFTA during a Rose Garden appearance on August President Bush, Prime Minister
12, 1992, calling it the "beginning of a new era".[169] Brian Mulroney; Seated: Jaime
Serra Puche, Carla Hills, and
The agreement came under heavy scrutiny amongst mainly Democrats, Michael Wilson at the NAFTA
who charged that NAFTA resulted in a loss of American jobs.[29] Initialing Ceremony, October 1992
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.[170] 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.[171]

The treaty has since been defended as well as criticized further. The American economy has grown 54% since the
adoption of NAFTA in 1993, with 25 million new jobs created; this was seen by some as evidence of NAFTA being

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beneficial to the United States.[172] With talk in early 2008 regarding a possible American withdrawal from the
treaty, Carlos M. Gutierrez, current United States Secretary of Commerce, writes, "Quitting NAFTA would send
economic shock waves throughout the world, and the damage would start here at home."[172] But John J. Sweeney,
President of the AFL-CIO, wrote in The Boston Globe that "the U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico
ballooned to twelve times its pre-NAFTA size, reaching $111 billion in 2004."[173][174]

Pardons
In keeping with tradition, 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.[175] Bush described Weinberger, who
was scheduled to stand trial on January 5, 1993, for criminal charges related to Iran-Contra, as a "true American
patriot".[175]

In addition to Weinberger, Bush pardoned Duane R. Clarridge, Clair E. George, Robert C. McFarlane, Elliott
Abrams, and Alan Fiers, all of whom had been indicted and/or convicted of criminal charges by an Independent
Counsel headed by Lawrence Walsh.[176]

Honorary degrees
George H. W. Bush received honorary degrees from several American and International Universities, including:

Year School and location Degree

1981 Howard University, Washington, D.C. Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[177][178]

1981 Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[179][180]

1982 Miami University, Oxford, Ohio Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[181]

Doctor of Humane Letters


1983 Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
(L.H.D.)[182]

1989 Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas Doctorate[183]

1990 Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma Doctor of Economics[184]

1990 Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia Doctor of Humanities (HH.D.)[185]

1991 Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[186]

1992 University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [187]

1995 College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia Doctor of Laws (LL.D)

Central Connecticut State University, New Britain,


1999 Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[188]
Connecticut

1999 Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland Doctor of Public Service (D.P.S.)[189]

2008 Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island Doctor of Humane Letters[190]

2009 University of Macau, Macau, China Doctor of Social Sciences[191]

2011 Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[192]

2014 Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[193][194]

2016 National Intelligence University, Bethesda, Maryland Doctor of Strategic Intelligence[195]

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Awards and honors


In 1990, Time magazine named him the Man of the Year.[196] In 1991, the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
awarded Bush its Lone Sailor award for his naval service and his subsequent government service.[197] In 1993, he
was made an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth II.[198] In 2009, he
received the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame two years
later.[199]

1992 presidential campaign


In early 1992, Bush announced that he would seek a second term. A coalition victory in the Persian Gulf War and
high approval ratings made re-election seem likely. As a result, many leading Democrats declined to seek their
party's presidential nomination.[200] On the negative side, Bush's popularity was reduced by an economic recession
and doubts of whether he properly ended the Gulf War.[201][202]

Conservative political columnist Pat Buchanan challenged Bush for the Republican nomination. He 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.[29] Once he had
secured the nomination, Bush faced his Democratic challenger, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Clinton attacked
Bush as a politician who was 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's false report that Bush was "astonished" to see a
demonstration of a supermarket scanner.[203][204][205]

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.[206] Perot later bowed out of the race for a
short time, then reentered.[207]

Clinton had originally been in the lead, until Perot The 1992 presidential electoral votes by state
reentered, tightening the race significantly.[208] As
Election Day neared, the polls suggested that the race was
a dead-heat,[23] but Clinton pulled out on top, with 370 electoral votes to Bush's 168 votes. Perot won 19% of the
popular vote, one of the highest totals for a third party candidate in U.S. history, drawing equally from both major
candidates, according to exit polls.[29][209][210]

Several key factors led to Bush's defeat. The ailing economy that arose from recession may have been the main
factor in Bush's loss. On Election Day, 7 in 10 voters said that the economy was either "not so good" or "poor".
[211][212] On the eve of the 1992 election, after unemployment reports of 7.8% appeared (the highest since
1984),[213] Economic recession had contributed to a sharp decline in his approval rating – to just 37%.[214]

Conservative Republicans pointed out that Bush's 1990 agreement to raise taxes contradicted 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. According to one survey, of the voters who cited Bush's broken "No New Taxes" pledge
as "very important", two thirds voted for Bill Clinton.[215] 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. The tax revenue increase had not hurt his approval rating to the extent that it prevented it from reaching its

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highest level, 89%, by February 1991, during the Gulf War, and four months after the tax vote.[216][217]

Public image
George Bush was widely seen as a "pragmatic caretaker" president who
lacked a unified and compelling long-term theme in his efforts.
[218][219][220] Indeed, Bush's sound bite where he refers to the issue of
overarching purpose as "the vision thing" has become a metonym
applied to other political figures accused of similar difficulties.[221][222]
[223][224][225][226] "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".[49]
Bush visits NAS JRB, New Orleans
His Ivy League and prep school education led to warnings by advisors personnel before he receives briefs
that his image was too "preppy" in 1980, which resulted in deliberate on the status of Joint Task Force
efforts in his 1988 campaign to shed the image, including meeting Katrina relief efforts, October 2005
voters at factories and shopping malls, abandoning set speeches. Bush's
campaign director Roger Ailes and others were concerned that Bush
was seen as a "wimp." Bush put that image to rest when he displayed evident fury during an interview with Dan
Rather on January 25, 1988.[49]

His ability to gain broad international support for the Gulf War and the war's result were seen as both a diplomatic
and military triumph,[99] rousing bipartisan approval,[227] though his decision to withdraw without removing
Saddam Hussein left mixed feelings, and attention returned to the domestic front and a souring economy.[228] A
New York Times article mistakenly depicted Bush as being surprised to see a supermarket barcode reader;[203][205]
the report of his reaction exacerbated the notion that he was "out of touch".[203] Amid the early 1990s recession, his
image shifted from "conquering hero" to "politician befuddled by economic matters".[204]

Although Bush became the first elected Republican president since Hoover in 1932 to lose a reelection bid (facing a
34% approval rating leading up to the 1992 election), the mood did not last. Despite his defeat, Bush climbed back
from election day approval levels to leave office in 1993 with a 56% job approval rating.[229] By December 2008,
60% of Americans gave Bush's presidency a positive rating.[230]

Post-presidency (1993–2018)

During Clinton presidency


Upon leaving office, Bush retired with his wife, Barbara, and temporarily moved into a friend's house near the
Tanglewood community of Houston as they prepared to build a permanent retirement house nearby.[231]
Ultimately they built their retirement house in the community of West Oaks, near Tanglewood.[36] They had a
presidential office within the Park Laureate Building on Memorial Drive.[232] Mimi Swartz of National Geographic
wrote that "The Bushes are too studiously sedate to live in River Oaks".[233] They spent their summers at Walker's
Point in Kennebunkport, Maine.[234]

In 1993, Bush was targeted in an assassination plot when he visited Kuwait to commemorate the coalition's victory
over Iraq in the Gulf War. Kuwaiti authorities arrested 17 people who were allegedly involved in using a car bomb
in an attempt 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, Clinton retaliated when he ordered the firing of 23

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cruise missiles at Iraqi Intelligence Service headquarters in Baghdad.


The day before the strike, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Madeleine Albright went before the Security Council to present
evidence of the Iraqi plot. After the missiles were fired, Vice President
Al Gore said the attack "was intended to be a proportionate response at
the place where this plot" to assassinate Bush "was hatched and
implemented".[235]

In September 1993, Bush and other living former presidents were President Bill Clinton meeting with
invited back to the White House for an Arab-Israeli peace accord. They former Presidents George H.W.
Bush and Jimmy Carter at the White
also made the case to Clinton for a repeal of NAFTA.[236]
House in September 1993
In April 1994, Bush attended the funeral of Richard Nixon.[237]

In the 1994 gubernatorial elections, his sons George W. and Jeb concurrently ran for Governor of Texas and
Governor of Florida. The elder Bush frequently telephoned campaign headquarters for updates on the race.[238]
George W. won his race against Ann Richards while Jeb lost to Lawton Chiles. After the results came in, the elder
Bush told ABC, "I have very mixed emotions. Proud father, is the way I would sum it all up."[239] Jeb would again
run for governor of Florida in 1998 and win at the same time that his brother George W. won re-election in Texas.
It marked the second time in United States history that a pair of brothers served simultaneously as governors.[240]

From 1993 to 1999, he served as the chairman of the board of trustees for Eisenhower Fellowships,[241] and from
2007 to 2009 was chairman of the National Constitution Center.[242]

On September 28, 1994, Bush said he was opposed to sending American troops to Haiti, citing his loss of
confidence in President of Haiti Jean-Bertrand Aristide while speaking to business and civic leaders in
Houston.[243]

In an October 22, 1994 speech in Cancún, Mexico, Bush said history would vindicate him for not attempting to
force Saddam Hussein out of power while in office: "The Mideast peace talks that offer hope to the world would
never have started if we had done that. The Arabs would never have talked to us."[244]

On July 17, 1995, Bush returned to the White House for the unveiling of
his official portrait in an East Room ceremony attended by former
members of his administration.[245]

In September 1995, Bush met with President of Vietnam Lê Đức Anh


and party secretary Đỗ Mười in Vietnam.[246] On September 2, Bush
and his son George W. participated in a parade commemorating World
War II in Fredericksburg, Texas, where the elder Bush reasoned the
United States had become united in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl The unveiling of an official portrait of
Harbor and stressed America would have to stay involved in world George H. W. Bush at the East
Room of the White House, 1995
affairs to continue its unity.[247]

On July 26, 1996, Bush met with Republican presidential candidate


Bob Dole and pledged he would do everything in his power to aid in securing a victory for Dole in the upcoming
presidential election.[248] The two met again in October while Dole was preparing for upcoming debates with
President Clinton. Bush's experience with debating Clinton prompting Dole to seek out his advice.[249]

In February 1997, Bush endorsed the chemical weapon banning treaty supported by United States Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright, saying the United States would need to approve the treaty ahead of the April

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deadline.[250]

In April 1997, Bush gave a speech at a convocation of a weekend conference analyzing his presidency[251] and
joined President Bill Clinton, former President Ford, and Nancy Reagan in signing the "Summit Declaration of
Commitment" in advocating for participation by private citizens in solving domestic issues within the United
States.[252] Also in April 1997, the Houston Intercontinental Airport was renamed George Bush Intercontinental
Airport after a proposal received the unanimous approval of the Houston City Council.[253] The renaming took
effect on May 2, with Bush presiding over the ceremonies as he took a 50-minute flight during the official
changeover.[254]

In August 1997, Bush agreed to be interviewed by The New York Times,


as long as he would not be portrayed as giving credit to himself over the
balanced budget deal that was composed by President Clinton and
House Speaker Newt Gingrich. During a telephone interview, he stated
his belief that history would show that his administration laid the
groundwork for the agreement.[255]

President Bush was Honorary Chairman of Points of Light, an


international nonprofit dedicated to engaging more people and Inauguration ceremony of Jeb Bush
in January 1999
resources in solving serious social problems through voluntary
service.[256]

In January 1999, Bush spoke in the Old Senate chamber as part of a lecture series for Senators in an address
warning against the collapse of political decorum and invasions into the privacy of individuals.[257]

In February 1999, Bush was part of the American delegation to the funeral of Hussein of Jordan in Amman.[258]

In April 1999, Bush called for the release of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet when Spain had him
arrested and sought to try him for human rights violations.[259]

In May 1999, Bush and his wife Barbara honored six senior citizens during the annual Ageless Heroes honors in
Chicago, Illinois.[260]

During George W. Bush presidency


His eldest son, George W. Bush, was inaugurated as the 43rd president of
the United States on January 20, 2001, and re-elected in 2004. 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 retronymic forms such as
"George H. W. Bush" and "George Bush senior" and colloquialisms such as
"Bush 41" and "Bush the Elder" much more common. H.W. Bush was
traveling to Minnesota for a speaking engagement on the day of the
George and Barbara Bush, 2001 September 11 attacks. George W. made multiple calls to get in contact with
his father before the two men reconnected after the elder Bush had gone to
a Brookfield, Wisconsin motel.[261] Bush told biographer Jon Meacham
that his son's vice president, Dick Cheney, underwent a change following the September 11 attacks: "His seeming
knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the
Middle East."[262]

In December 2002, George W. sought counsel from the elder Bush regarding Iraq and informed him of "my efforts

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to rally the Saudis, Jordanians, Turks, and others in the Middle East".[263]

Following the fall of Baghdad, Bush praised George W. in an April 2003 email to the incumbent president.[264] In a
September 14, 2003 interview with BBC, Bush stated his support for a continuation of his son's war against
terrorism and the US was in a better state in terms of protecting itself from terrorism than two years prior.[265]
While visiting Houston VA Medical Center on December 17, Bush told reporters of his satisfaction with the capture
of Saddam Hussein.[266]

President and Mrs. Bush attended the state funeral of Ronald Reagan in June 2004,[267] and of Gerald Ford in
January 2007.[268] One month later, he was awarded the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award in Beverly Hills,
California, by former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Despite Bush's political differences with Bill Clinton, reports
acknowledged that the two former presidents had become friends.[269] He and Clinton appeared together in
television ads in 2005, encouraging aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
and tsunami.[270]

In October 2004, Bush endorsed Pete Sessions and Ted Poe in Texas
congressional races.[271]

In February 2006, Bush delivered a eulogy at the funeral of Coretta


Scott King.[272]

On March 2, 2006, President Bush announced that his father would


lead the American delegation to the inauguration of President-elect of
the Republic of Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva.[273] Bush (right) with Russian President
Vladimir Putin as he receives the
In September 2006, Bush campaigned for New Jersey Senate candidate Jubilee Medal "60 Years of Victory in
Thomas Kean Jr., praising him as well as stating his respect for Kean the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945"
from Putin in 2005.
calling on the resignation of US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.[274] Kean
went on to lose the election. The following month, he was honored by
the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) with the NIAF One America Award for fundraising, with Bill
Clinton, for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.[275]

On February 18, 2008, Bush formally endorsed Senator John McCain for President of the United States.[276] The
endorsement offered a boost to McCain's campaign, because the Arizona Senator had been facing criticism among
many conservatives.[277] During a trip to Tokyo, Japan, Bush said that he would campaign vigorously against
Senator Hillary Clinton if she were to initiate a presidential bid.[278]

In March 2008, Bush met with President of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao, who praised Bush for his
attempts at harmonizing relations between the US and China.[279]

During an address at the University of Kansas on November 16, 2008, Bush said that President-elect Obama would
encounter diverse issues upon taking office and experience a wave of enthusiasm.[280]

On January 10, 2009, George H. W. and George W. Bush were both present at the commissioning of USS George
H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the tenth and last Nimitz-class supercarrier of the United States Navy.[281][282] Bush paid a
visit to the carrier again on May 26, 2009.[283]

During Obama presidency


In June 2009, Bush came out in support for Sonia Sotomayor to receive fair hearings in her nomination for
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. "She was called by somebody a racist once. That's not right. I mean, that's

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not fair. It doesn't help the process. You're out there name-calling. So
let them decide who they want to vote for and get on with it."[284]

In October 2009, Bush


criticized the rampant
criticism of the current
times, reflecting that he did
not receive such "day in and
day out" during his
presidency and named George H. W. Bush with son George
Keith Olbermann and W. Bush and China's President Hu
Capt. Kevin E. O'Flaherty,
Rachel Maddow of MSNBC
commanding officer of the aircraft
as examples; he called the Jintao in Beijing, People's Republic
carrier USS George H.W. Bush,
of China, August 10, 2008
escorts former President George H. two "sick puppies."[285] Also
W. Bush, 2009 during that month, on
October 16, Bush joined President Barack Obama onstage at Texas
A&M University for a promotion of volunteering.[286]

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Bush was an avid golfer. In 2011, he was inducted in the
World Golf Hall of Fame.[287]

On February 15, 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor in the United
States—by President Barack Obama.[288]

On March 29, 2012, Bush endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2012
Presidential election. NBC News reported that Bush had chosen to support Romney three months prior.[289]

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.[290] On July 7, Bush met with Gabrielle Giffords for part of her week-long Rights and
Responsibilities Tour advocating expanded background checks in relation to firearm purchases.[291]

In April 2014, Frederick D. McClure, chief executive of the Bush library


foundation, organized a three-day gathering in College Park, Texas, to
mark the 25th anniversary of the Bush administration. Also in early
2014, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation presented the Profile in
Courage Award to Bush and Mount Vernon awarded him its first Cyrus
A. Ansary Prize.[292] The Kennedy foundation award was presented by
Jack Schlossberg, the late president's grandson, to Lauren Bush
Lauren, who accepted on her grandfather's behalf.[293] The Ansary prize
was presented in Houston with Ansary, Barbara Lucas, Ryan C. Bush meets President Barack
Crocker, dean of the Bush school since January 2010, Barbara Bush, Obama in the Oval Office, January
30, 2010
and Curt Viebranz in attendance with the former president. Bush
directed $50,000 of the prize to the Bush School of Government and
Public Service at Texas A&M University, and $25,000 will fund an animation about the Siege of Yorktown for
Mount Vernon.[294] Viebranz and Lucas represented Mount Vernon at the presentation.[295][296]

On June 12, 2014, Bush fulfilled a long-standing promise by skydiving on his 90th birthday. He made the
parachute jump from a helicopter near his home at 11:15 a.m. in Kennebunkport, Maine. The jump marked the
eighth time the former president had skydived, including jumps on his 80th and 85th birthday as well.[297] He had
tweeted about the incident prior to the jump, saying "It's a wonderful day in Maine — in fact, nice enough for a

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parachute jump."[298][299]

On December 7, 2016, Bush and former Senator Bob Dole


commemorated the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by
appearing at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at
Texas A&M University.[300]

2016 election
In November 2014, George W. confirmed that his father wanted Jeb to
launch a presidential bid in 2016.[301] Jeb decided to run for president,
but struggled and withdrew from the Republican primary in the wave of
anti-establishment sentiment led by Donald Trump.[302] All three The Bushes with Vice President
Bushes emerged as frequent critics of Trump's policies and speaking Mike Pence and family, wife Karen
and daughter Charlotte, at Super
style, while Trump frequently criticized George W. Bush's presidency.
Bowl LI in 2017.
George H.W. Bush later said that he voted for the Democratic nominee,
Hillary Clinton, in the general election instead of Trump.[303] After
Trump won the election, Bush sent him a congratulatory message.[304]

During Trump presidency


On February 5, 2017, George and Barbara Bush participated in the coin toss for Super Bowl LI.[305]

On August 16, 2017, Bush and his son George W. released a joint statement in which they condemned the violence
at the Unite the Right rally.[306]

On September 7, 2017, Bush partnered with former presidents Carter, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama to
work with One America Appeal to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in the Gulf Coast and
Texas communities.[307]

Personal life

Faith
Bush was raised in the Episcopal Church, though by the end of his life his apparent religious beliefs have been
considered more in line with Evangelical Christian doctrine and practices.[308] He cited various moments in his life
deepening of his faith, including his escape from Japanese forces in 1944, and the death of his three-year-old
daughter Robin in 1953.[309] His faith was reflected in his Thousand Points of Light speech, his support for prayer
in schools, and his support for the pro-life movement (following his election as vice president).[308][309]

After his wife's death in April 2018, Bush released a statement through his spokesman, saying in part, "We have
faith she is in heaven, and we know life will go on — as she would have it. So, cross the Bushes off your worry
list."[310] On the day of his death, his friend James Baker told Bush that he was going to heaven. Bush replied
"Good. That's where I want to go."[311]

Health and longevity


In 1991, The New York Times revealed that Bush was suffering from Graves' disease, a non-contagious thyroid
condition that his wife Barbara also had.[312]

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On February 24, 2000, Bush was standing at a reception for 90 minutes when he felt lightheaded. He was
admitted to a hospital with an irregular heartbeat.[313] When Bush was released three days later, his doctors said
that he had retained the irregularity in his heartbeat.[314] On March 11, 2007, Bush fainted on a golf course and was
admitted to the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, but was released the following
morning.[315]

In July 2015, Bush suffered a severe neck injury. At age 91 in October that year, he was wearing a neck brace in his
first public engagement since the accident when he threw the ceremonial first pitch for the Houston Astros at
Minute Maid Park.[316] Bush wrote a letter to president-elect Donald Trump in January 2017 to inform him that
because of his poor health, he would not be able to attend Trump's inauguration on January 20; he gave him his
best wishes. On January 18, 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 that was stemming from pneumonia.[317] Three
months later, he experienced a recurrence of pneumonia and was hospitalized.[318]

On November 25, 2017, Bush became the longest-lived U.S. president when he surpassed the 93 years and 165
days lifespan of Gerald Ford, who died in 2006.[319] Bush became the nation's oldest living president as well as the
oldest living vice president. He was also the first president to reach the age of 94, reaching that milestone on June
12, 2018.[320] The longest-lived U.S. vice president is John Nance Garner, who died on November 7, 1967, 15 days
short of his 99th birthday.[321]

On April 22, 2018, the day after his wife's funeral, the former president was hospitalized with a blood infection.
[322][323] The infection led to sepsis.[324] One month later, he was briefly hospitalized again, after experiencing
fatigue and low blood pressure.[325][326]

Sexual misconduct allegations


In October 2017, during the Me Too movement, actress Heather Lind accused Bush of groping her and telling an
inappropriate joke. Several other women subsequently made similar allegations, including Christina Baker Kline
and Roslyn Corrigan (who was 16 years old at the time of the alleged incident in 2003).[327] Bush apologized for
these incidents through his spokesman, Jim McGrath.[328][329][330] At the time, an editorial writer for the
Washington Post noted that some would relate his behavior to his vascular parkinsonism or other senility related
conditions.[331] Symptoms for vascular parkinsonism may include a lack of impulse control and cognitive
impairment.[332][333] The only medication available to treat vascular parkinsonism is also associated with a lack of
impulse control, although it is unclear if he was receiving it or not.[334]

Death and funeral


Bush suffered from vascular parkinsonism, a form of Parkinson's
disease which had forced him to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair
since at least 2012.[335][336] He died on November 30, 2018, aged
94,[337] at his home in Houston.[42] Tributes and condolences were
offered by former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W.
Bush, Barack Obama and incumbent President Donald Trump.[338][339]

On December 3, 2018, Bush became the 12th U.S. President to lie in Bush lying in state in the Capitol
state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.[340] Bush's remains will lie in rotunda

repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church (Houston) from the evening of


December 5 until 11:15 a.m. Central Standard Time on December 6.

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Legacy
According to USA Today, the legacy of Bush's presidency was defined by his victory over Iraq after the invasion of
Kuwait, and for his presiding over the collapse of the USSR and unification of Germany. The paper said his
political legacy would "continue years later through his son, George W. Bush, who became the 43rd president of
the United States."[341] Matt Picht from Newsy said that in Bush's legacy, he is remembered as a Foreign Policy
President, for presiding over the collapse of the USSR, post Cold War relations with Russia, and for signing the
START 1 treaty on nuclear weaponry. Picht wrote that his decision to arrest and depose Panama Dictator Manuel
Noriega was popular at the time, but will be less fondly remembered.[342]

According to presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove, Bush "cemented" the tradition of presidents leaving
behind letters of support for their successors on the Resolute Desk.[343] While Reagan had been the first modern
president to do so in 1989, Bush's move was significant in that his gesture of goodwill was made towards Clinton,
the man to whom Bush had just lost the election.[343]

Presidential library
The George Bush Presidential Library is the nation's tenth presidential
library and was built between 1995 and 1997.[344] It contains the
presidential and vice presidential papers of Bush and the vice
presidential papers of Dan Quayle.[345] It was dedicated on November
6, 1997, and opened to the public shortly thereafter; the architectural
firm of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum designed the complex.[346][347]

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located on a 90- The George Bush Presidential
acre (36 ha) site on the west campus of Texas A&M University in Library on the west campus of
College Station, Texas, on a plaza adjoining the Presidential Conference Texas A&M University in College
Center and the Texas A&M Academic Center.[348] The Library operates Station, Texas
under NARA's administration and the provisions of the Presidential
Libraries Act of 1955.[349]

The Bush School of Government and Public Service is a graduate public policy school at Texas A&M University in
College Station, Texas, that was established in 1995.[348] The graduate school is part of the presidential library
complex, and offers four programs — two master's degree programs (Public Service and Administration, and
International Affairs) and three certificate programs (Advanced International Affairs, Nonprofit Management, and
Homeland Security).[350]

See also
Electoral history of George H. W. Bush
List of Presidents of the United States by previous experience
List of Presidents of the United States

Notes
1. For decades, Bush was considered the youngest naval aviator at the time.[6] However, a claim to be the
youngest must be proven by examining the records of all other naval aviators. Such claims are now regarded
as speculation, and supporters say only that it is "likely" to be true.[7] His official U.S. Navy biography, which
called him "the youngest" in 2001,[8] has been edited by 2018 to say "one of the youngest."[4]

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Further reading
Andrew, Christopher (1996). For the President's Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency
from Washington to Bush. Harper Perennial. pp. 503–536. ISBN 9780060921781.
Barilleaux, Ryan J.; Stuckey, Mary E. (1992). Leadership and the Bush Presidency: Prudence or Drift in an
Era of Change. New York: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-94418-6.
Ducat, Stephen J. (2004). The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious
Masculinity. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 978-0-8070-4344-8.
Duffy, Michael; Goodgame, Dan (1992). Marching in Place: The Status Quo Presidency of George Bush. New
York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-73720-7.
Fitzwater, Marlin (1995). Call the Briefing. New York: Times Books. ISBN 978-0-7388-3458-0.
Greene, John Robert (2015). The Presidency of George Bush (2nd ed.). Lawrence: University Press of
Kansas. ISBN 978-0-7006-2079-1.
Hyams, Joe (1991). Flight of the Avenger: George Bush at War. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovic.
ISBN 978-0-15-131469-0.
Kelley, Kitty (2004). The Family: The True Story of the Bush Dynasty. London: Doubleday.
ISBN 978-0-385-50324-2.
Meacham, Jon (2015). Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
(https://books.google.com/books?id=iMgOCAAAQBAJ). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6765-7.
Naftali, Timothy (2007). George H. W. Bush. Times Books. ISBN 978-0-8050-6966-2.

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Patterson, James T. (2005). Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore. Oxford
University Press. ISBN 9780195122169.
Podhoretz, John (1993). Hell of a Ride: Backstage at the White House Follies, 1989–1993. New York: Simon
& Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-79648-8.
Smith, Jean Edward (1992). George Bush's War. New York: Henry Holt & Company.
ISBN 978-0-8050-1388-7.
Sununu, John H. (2015). The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H. W. Bush. Broadside
Books. ISBN 978-0-06-238428-7.
Updegrove, Mark K. (2017). The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship between George
H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Harper. ISBN 9780062654120.
Wicker, Tom (2004). George Herbert Walker Bush. Lipper/Viking. ISBN 978-0670033034.
McBride, Tim (June 12, 2009). "The President Who Treated Me Like a Son" (http://www.thedailybeast.com
/articles/2009/06/12/the-president-who-treated-me-like-a-son.html). The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 8,
2014.
American Experience, The Presidents: George H.W. Bush (http://video.pbs.org/video/979907571) (Television
production). American Experience, Public Broadcasting Service. 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2014.

Primary sources
Bush, George H. W. (1987). Looking Forward: An Autobiography. New York: Doubleday.
ISBN 978-0-385-14181-9.
Bush, George H. W. (1999). All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings. New York:
Scribner. ISBN 978-0-684-83958-5.
Bush, George H. W.; Scowcroft, Brent (1998). A World Transformed. New York: Knopf.
ISBN 978-0-679-43248-7.
Bush, George H. W.; Bush, Barbara (2009). "Interview with: George W. Bush, Barbara Bush"
(http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/oral-history/george-bush.php) (Interview). Interviewed by McGrath, Jim.
Retrieved October 8, 2014.
Bush, George W. (2014). 41: A Portrait of My Father. Crown. ISBN 978-0553447781.
Bush Koch, Dorothy (2006). My Father, My President: A Personal Account of the Life of George H. W. Bush.
Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0446579902.
Bush, George H. W. (2011). Engel, Jeffrey A., ed. The China Diary of George H. W. Bush: The Making of a
Global President (https://books.google.com/books?id=jRvdwoKQOgQC&pg=PA356). Princeton UP.
ISBN 978-1400829613.

External links
Official

George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center (https://www.bush41.org/)


White House biography (https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/georgehwbush)

Speeches and statements

Full audio of a number of Bush speeches (http://millercenter.org/president/speeches#bush) Miller Center of


Public Affairs

Media coverage

"George H. W. Bush collected news and commentary" (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics


/people/b/george_bush/index.html). The New York Times.

Other

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United States Congress. "George H. W. Bush (id: B001166)" (http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts


/biodisplay.pl?index=B001166). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Extensive essays on Bush (http://www.millercenter.virginia.edu/index.php/academic/americanpresident/bush)


and shorter essays on each member of his cabinet and First Lady from the Miller Center of Public Affairs
Appearances (https://www.c-span.org/person/?georgebush) on C-SPAN

"Life Portrait of George H. W. Bush" (http://www.c-span.org/video/?151637-1/life-portrait-george-hw-bush),


from C-SPAN's American Presidents: Life Portraits, December 13, 1999
George H. W. Bush (https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/bush/player/) an American
Experience documentary
George H. W. Bush (https://curlie.org/Society/History/By_Region/North_America/United_States/Presidents
/Bush%2C_George_Herbert_Walker/) at Curlie
George H. W. Bush (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0124132/) on IMDb
George H. W. Bush (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/4311) at Find a Grave

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