George W. Bush

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George W. Bush
A portrait shot of a smiling older male looking straight ahead. He has short gray hair, and is wearing a dark navy blazer with a blue styled tie over a white collared shirt. In the background is an American flag hanging from a flagpole.
43rd President of the United States
In office
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
Vice President Dick Cheney
Preceded by Bill Clinton
Succeeded by Barack Obama
46th Governor of Texas
In office
January 17, 1995 – December 21, 2000
Lieutenant Bob Bullock
Rick Perry
Preceded by Ann Richards
Succeeded by Rick Perry
Personal details
Born George Walker Bush
July 6, 1946 (1946-07-06) (age 68)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Laura Welch (1977–present)
Children Barbara
Jenna
Alma mater Yale University
Harvard Business School
Profession Businessman (Oil, baseball)
Religion Episcopalian (Before 1977)[1]
Methodist (1977–present)[2][3]
Signature Cursive signature in ink
Website Bush Presidential Library
Bush Presidential Center
The White House Archived
Military service
Service/branch Texas Air National Guard
Alabama Air National Guard
Years of service 1968–1974
Rank First Lieutenant US-O2 insignia.svg
Unit 147th Reconnaissance Wing
187th Fighter Wing

George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and businessman who was the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He is a Republican.[4] He has a ranch in Crawford, Texas, which is near Waco.[5] He is the son of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and former U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush.

Before he was President, Bush was Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.[6] He is married to Laura,[4][7] and they have twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara.[4] He is the brother of Jeb, the former Governor of Florida and Dorothy.

Early life[change | change source]

Bush as an infant with his parents, 1947

Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut.[8][9] Bush grew up in Midland, Texas. He went to a high school called Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1964.[4][10] He went to school at Yale University from 1964 until he graduated in 1968,[11][12] with a bachelor's degree in history.[13] He lived in Midland, Texas on a ranch but not for a long time. He joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1968[14][15] (part of the United States National Guard) during the Vietnam War, but did not fight in Vietnam. He left the Texas Air National Guard in 1973.[16] In 1975 Bush earned an MBA from Harvard University.[13]

On November 5, 1977, Bush married Laura Welch.[17] In 1978, Bush tried to get elected to Congress in West Texas, but lost. After that, he ran some oil companies and was one of the owners of the Texas Rangers baseball team. He thought about trying to become the commissioner of Major League Baseball, but went into politics instead.[18] Bush is a Methodist.[2] In 1994, he was elected to be Governor of Texas,[19] defeating incumbent Democratic Governor Ann Richards.[13]

2000 Presidential election[change | change source]

Bush ran against then-Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 United States presidential election.[20] More than 100 million people voted on November 7, 2000.[21] But the election was very close. When they began counting the votes, it became clear that whoever got the most votes in the state of Florida would win the election. But there were many issues with the ballots in Florida. Gore sued to get Florida to count the votes again. For more than a month no one knew who won the election. The Supreme Court made a decision to stop recounting votes.[22] Gore decided to accept his loss on December 13 and Bush was declared the winner.[23]

Bush's first term[change | change source]

While he was President, George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law.[24] It was an education reform bill.

Bush was the first President of the United States to deliver a speech in both Spanish and in English.[25]

He added Part D to Medicare,[26] which gives older people free medicine if they can not afford it.

He also signed very large tax cuts (many of them were for the middle and lower class) during his presidency.

Bush did not approve of abortion.[27] In 2004, he signed the Unborn Victims Of Violence Act[28] which made it so that if a pregnant woman is murdered, her murderer can also be charged with killing the fetus that the woman was carrying.[29]

His first foreign policy test came when an American spy plane crashed in China. Bush peacefully negotiated the release of the plane crew.[30]

Eight months after Bush became president, the September 11 attacks occured. Because of this, President Bush declared a War on Terror.[31]

Bush delivers a eulogy at Ronald Reagan's state funeral, June 2004

Bush tried to do many things to stop another terrorist attack from happening. He ordered an invasion of Afghanistan in 2002.[32] He did this because the leaders of Afghanistan were helping Osama bin Laden, the person who was responsible for attacking America on September 11, 2001 and it was almost ten years later on May 2, 2011 that bin Laden was killed on orders of President Barack Obama. The war in Afghanistan is still happening today, and over 80,000 people have been killed so far. Bush asked Congress to do more to stop terrorism. As a result, Congress passed a law that created the Department Of Homeland Security, a government department which tries to prevent terrorist attacks from happening. It also responds to emergencies such as floods or diseases.

He signed the Patriot Act (which allowed the government to listen to people's phone calls so it can track down terrorists which try to communicate with each other).[33]

After Saddam refused to cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors[34] and the United States Congress authorized Bush to invade Iraq if its government did not cooperate with the weapons inspectors,[35] Bush decided to invade Iraq in 2003.[36] The United Kingdom supported the invasion.[37] Saddam Hussein was removed from power, and Iraq turned into a democracy. Over 100,000 people were killed in this war.

2004 Presidential election[change | change source]

In the 2004 presidential election, Bush won again with a majority of votes. His opponent was Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, a Democrat.[38]

Bush's second term[change | change source]

The Second inauguration of George W. Bush, January 2005

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina (the most destructive hurricane in American history) happened.[39] It caused over 1800 deaths and caused billions of dollars of destruction. George W. Bush signed several acts into law which would help Hurricane Katrina victims.

In the Iraq War, no weapons of mass destruction were found, and the Bush Administration was criticized for being wrong about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. Bush added more American troops to Iraq (which was called "the surge") to speed up the war. The surge was successful, and in result, Iraq had less violence.

Although the economy was doing very well during much of his presidency, in early 2008, the economy was slowing down. Bush signed a bill into law which would gave $600 to every American citizen, hoping that people would go out and spend the money so that it would prevent a recession (a bad economy) from happening.

Later in 2008, stock market crashed and the country fell into its worst recession since the Great Depression. Bush helped create a 700 billion dollar bailout, which would give money to corporations (large businesses) to prevent them from being bankrupt and to try to prevent the recession from getting worse.

Bush publicly supported Republican candidate John McCain during the 2008 presidential election,[40] but Barack Obama won the election.[41] During the last few days he was President, Bush gave his farewell address. He was succeeded by Barack Obama.

After the presidency[change | change source]

Bush with all living former presidents, including his father George H. W. Bush, January 2009

After his presidency, Bush stayed away from the spotlight and did not want much attention. He said that he was not going to criticize President Obama.[42] He began to build his presidential library in 2010.[43] It was open to the public in 2013.

Bush with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, January 2013

After over a year and a half of saying little in public, in November of 2010, Bush appeared on several television interviews and released a book called Decision Points. The book focuses on fourteen big decisions he made, including quitting drinking, running for president, Hurricane Katrina, invading Iraq, and his response to the financial meltdown in 2008.

On May 2, 2011, President Obama called Bush, who was at a restaurant with his wife, to inform him that Osama bin Laden had been killed.[44] The Bushes joined the Obamas in New York City to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. At the Ground Zero memorial, Bush read a letter that President Abraham Lincoln wrote to a widow who lost five sons during the Civil War.[45]

On August 6, 2013, Bush was successfully treated for a coronary artery blockage with a stent. The blockage had been found during an annual medical examination.[46]

References[change | change source]

  1. Seelye, Katharine Q. (April 16, 2001). "Bush Celebrates Easter at an Outdoor Service". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/16/us/bush-celebrates-easter-at-an-outdoor-service.html. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The last Methodist president
  3. Cooperman, Alan (September 16, 2004). "Openly Religious, to a Point". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A24634-2004Sep15?. Retrieved September 1, 2008.[dead link]
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 http://www.nndb.com/people/360/000022294/
  5. "Ex-President Bush and Wife Leave Washington for Texas". Associated Press. Fox News. January 20, 2009. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/01/20/ex-president-bush-wife-leave-washington-texas/. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
  6. Wroe, Andrew; Jon Herbert Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency: A Tale of Two Terms Edinburg University Press 2009 page 200
  7. Marquez, Heron George W. Bush Twenty First Century Books 2007 page 48
  8. Greenstein, Fred I. The George W. Bush Presidency: An Early Assessment The Johns Hopkins University Press Baltimore Maryland 2003 page 2
  9. Marquez, Heron George W. Bush 2007 Twenty First Century Books a division of Lerner Publishing Group Minneapolis Minnesota page 104
  10. Bush, George W. Bush Decision Points Random House New York 2010 pages 11-13
  11. Kalb, Marvin, Deborah Kalb Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama Brookings Washington DC 2011 page 187
  12. Aikman, David A Man of Faith: The Spiritual Journey of George W. Bush W. Publishing Group a division of Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville Tennessee 2004 page 41
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 http://www.webcitation.org/5kwppnbYX
  14. Cohen, Daniel George W. Bush: The Family Business The Millbrook Press Inc. Brookfield Connecticut page 12
  15. Burgan, Michael George W. Bush Profiles of the Presidents Compass Point Books Minneapolis Minnesota page 13
  16. Stecker, Frederick The Podium, the Pulpit, and the Republicans: How Presidential Candidates Use Religious Language in American Political Debate ABC Clio Publishing Santa Barbara California 2011 page 53
  17. Andersen, Christopher George and Laura: Portrait of an American Marriage Avon Books New York New York 2002 page 150
  18. Schmidt, Michael (October 13, 2010). "George W. Bush Is Back in the Rangers Front Row - NYTimes.com". The New York Times (New York: NYTC). ISSN 0362-4331 . http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/sports/baseball/14bush.html?_r=1. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  19. Rountree, Clark George W. Bush: A Biography ABC Clio Publishing Santa Barbara California 2011 page xxi
  20. Bush, George W. Decision Points Random House New York pages 67-78
  21. Scaros, Constantinos E. Understanding the Constitution Jones and Bartlett Publishers LLC 2011 page 4
  22. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_681500368_2/Disputed_Presidential_Election_of_2000.html
  23. Rountree, Clark George W. Bush a Biography ABC Clio Publishing Santa Barbara California 2011 page xxii
  24. Bush, George W. Bush Decision Points Random House New York page 307
  25. Interesting Facts about George W. Bush at Buzzle.com
  26. Frolik, Lawrence A. The Law of Later Life Health Care and Decision Making American Bar Association 2006 page 15
  27. Bush, George W. Decision Points Random House New York pages 112-113
  28. http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2004/04/20040401-3.html
  29. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,115189,00.html
  30. Swansbrough, Robert H. Test by Fire: The War Presidency of George W. Bush Palgrave MacMillan New York New York 2008 pages 79-80
  31. Atkins, Stephen E The 9/11 Encyclopedia ABC Clio Publishing Santa Barbara California 2011 page 210
  32. Shmitt, Steffen W. ; Mark C Shelley; Barbara A Bardes American Government and Politics Today 2010-2011 Wadsworth Political Science Boston Massachussetts page 232
  33. Bush, George W. Decision Points Random House New York page 160-162
  34. Ofori, Nuku A World System in Flux: The Rise of Modern World Empire and its Significance in the Modern World System ProQuest LLC Ann Arbor Michigan 2009 pages 135-136
  35. Kushner, Harvey W. Encyclopedia of Terrorism Sage Publications page 178
  36. Shmitt, Steffen W. ; Mack C Shelley ; Barbara A Bardes Wadsworth Political Science Boston Massachussets page 232
  37. Lansford, Tom 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Chronology and Reference Guide ABC Clio Publishing Santa Barbara California 2012 page 235
  38. Bush, George W. Bush Decision Points Random House New York 2010 page 120, page 296
  39. Ouellette, Jeanine Dennis Feltgen Hurricane Katrina ABDO Publishing Company Edina Minnesota 2008 page 94
  40. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23481178/ns/politics-decision_08/t/bush-endorses-john-mccain-president/
  41. http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/04/election.president/index.html
  42. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29743567/ns/politics-more_politics/t/bush-says-obama-deserves-my-silence/#.UABis9lNFkg
  43. http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2010/11/construction_to_begin_on_georg.html
  44. Franke-Ruta, Garance (May 13, 2011). "When Bush Got the Bin Laden Call (While Eating a Souffle)". The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/when-bush-got-the-bin-laden-call-while-eating-a-souffle/238862/. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  45. "Presidents Obama and Bush commemorate 9/11 anniversary". CNN. September 11, 2011. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/11/presidents-obama-and-bush-commemorate-911-anniversary/.
  46. "George W. Bush has heart surgery". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/08/06/george-w-bush-heart-surgery/2622819/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=206567. Retrieved August 6, 2013.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to George W. Bush at Wikimedia Commons