42nd Vice President
|George H W Bush
of the United States
43rd Vice President of the United States
44th Vice President
George's mother was the biggest influence on his life, according to George's wife Barbara, and worked hard to raise her children to be good, modest people. As a young man, George often went by his middle name, Walker. He was also sometimes known as "Poppy", a derivative of his namesake grandfather's nickname, "Pop".
Following the news of the building violence in Europe, and the shock of the attack on Pearl Harbor, George enlisted in the Navy as soon as he finished high school, putting his plans of attending Yale on hold. He was often referred to as the youngest aviator in the Navy when he received his wings, though he later learned of one young man slightly younger. George flew 58 combat missions during World War II. On a mission with his unit, Torpedo Squadron 51, over the Pacific he was shot down by Japanese anti-aircraft fire and was rescued from the water by a U.S. submarine, a far better fate than many of the other men shot down in the same mission. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action.
In January 1945, George married Barbara Pierce. They had six children: George, Pauline Robinson "Robin", John "Jeb", Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy "Doro". George W. and Jeb both entered the politics, as well.
George and Barbara's daughter, Robin, died young from leukemia, despite the family doing the best they could to find a solution. The family temporarily moved to New York, staying with family while Robin was treated. George traveled between there and Texas in order to be with her and keep the family businesses running. He kept a picture of her in his desk drawer throughout his presidency.
George attended Yale University and excelled in both his studies and in sports. He graduated from there in 1948. George and Barbara moved their young family to Odessa, Texas where George would start his work in the oil industry.
George and Barbara's marriage lasted 73 years, ending only when she passed away early in 2018.
George was a successful businessman, forming Bush-Overby Oil Development in 1951. He also helped organize Zapata Petroleum Corp in 1953. During that time he watched his father step from business into politics, and the seed for his own transition was planted. He sold his interest in Zapata and worked on his plan to enter the Senate.
George served two terms as a Representative to Congress from Texas, first winning in 1966. He was next appointed to a series of high-level positions: Ambassador to the United Nations by President Nixon, Chairman of the Republican National Committee-another Nixon request, Chief of the U. S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China by President Ford, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency-another Ford appointment. The CIA headquarters at Langley was later named in his honor.
Despite the difficulty George had with his personal life being so accessible to the public when serving political roles, George ran for and won the Republican nomination for President in 1988. It was a difficult place to be, following the immensely successful President Reagan. George Bush became the 41st President of the United States. He was elected in 1989 and served until 1993.
President Bush was known for his pragmatism, patience, and drive. His time in the White House landed at the end of the Cold War and the beginnings of upheaval in the Middle East, most notably, Operation Desert Storm. His time also saw the passing of the Americans With Disabilities Act, The Immigration Act of 1990, The Civil Rights Act of 1991, The High Performance Computing Act of 1991, NAFTA, the volunteer program A Thousand Points of Light, as well as Supreme Court Appointments David Souter and Clarence Thomas.
George lived to see something that had happened only once before, with the Adams Presidential family; his son, George W. Bush, became the 43rd President of the United States, following in his father's footsteps. George Sr was also the last World War II veteran to serve in the Oval Office. His exit from the limelight of politics opened the door for the world to see the congenial, respectful man he was, making connections with former political rivals like Bob Dole and Bill Clinton, and understanding the boundaries between father and son, letting George W. be his own man in the Presidential chair.
George Bush died November 30, 2018 at his home in Houston, Texas, seven months after the death of his wife, Barbara. He will be buried at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library alongside his wife, Barbara.
George is remembered for the way he lived his life with his beloved wife, Barbara. He smiled and flashed his socks for the camera, went on adventures even into his older years, and always showed himself to be as fun as he was courageous and respectful. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. He was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to him by then President Barack Obama.
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