Although George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, who passed away on November 30, at the age of 94, served only one term as President, he had major accomplishments as President and he was a remarkable man in his own right. At this time we would like to shine some light on some of his accomplishments.
Born to the influential Bush family of New England on June 12, 1924, George Herbert Walker Bush was educated at the private Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. At school, he was a talented athlete, captaining the soccer and baseball teams.
A Navy Man
Bush graduated high school on his 18th birthday and immediately enlisted in the United States Navy. Trained as a naval aviator, he was commissioned as an ensign on June 9, 1943, becoming one of the Navy’s youngest pilots. Over the next two years, Bush took part in several major battles against Japan, flew more than 60 combat missions, won the Distinguished Flying Cross and survived being shot down.
After the war, Bush, now married to Barbara, enrolled at Yale, where he earned a degree in economics. He also captained the Yale baseball team and played in the first College World Series. Bush then went on to work in the oil industry.
George H. W. Bush was elected to the House of Representatives in 1966, but resigned his seat in 1970 to make an unsuccessful run for the Senate. After this, President Nixon appointed him as the US ambassador to the United Nations, where he helped improve relations between the USA and China.
H.W. Bush’s next major role, in 1976, was as Director of the CIA. He helped clean up the Agency after a string of scandals involving illegal activity and serious failures; over the next year he helped restore the CIA’s effectiveness at keeping tabs on America’s enemies.
Bush finally became a household name when he served two terms as Ronald Reagan’s vice president, from 1981 to 1989. At the end of Reagan’s second term Bush, winner of the 1988 election in the face of one of the dirtiest Democrat campaigns in history, replaced his old boss in the White House.
Bush as President
The Bush presidency began at a turbulent time. The US economy was facing a large deficit and growing unemployment, and Bush’s biggest challenge was to cut government spending in the face of Democrat pressure for more taxes. A Democrat majority in Congress blocked most of his plans, but he still managed to bring down interest rates and inflation.
In August of 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. In what might have been the high point of his presidency, Bush, along with British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, assembled one of the largest international coalition forces in history and liberated Kuwait early the next year. Along with the ousting of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega in 1989 and a series of successful treaties with Russian leader Boris Yeltsin, this established Bush as a president who shone at foreign policy.
Unfortunately, at the 1992 election, Bush fell victim to voter fatigue; the Republicans had been in office for three terms and the voters wanted a change. Bill Clinton became president in 1993.
After leaving office, Bush became one of the USA’s most respected elder statesmen, continuing to give advice to his successors. He was also actively involved in nonprofits and as an advocate for individual freedoms. His death marks the end of a long life dedicated to serving the United States.