George W. Bush - Forty-Third President of the United States

Forty-Third President of the United States

George W Bush, Forty-Third President of the United States
George W Bush, Forty-Third President of the United States. Courtesy: National Park Service

George Bush's Childhood and Education:

Born on July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut, George W. Bush is the oldest son of George H. W. and Barbara Pierce Bush. He grew up in Texas from the age of two. He came from a familial political tradition as his grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a U.S. Senator, and his father was the forty-first president. Bush attended Phillips Academy in Massachusetts and then went on to Yale, graduating in 1968. He considered himself an average student. After serving in the National Guard, he went to Harvard Business School.

Family Ties:

Bush has three brothers and one sister: Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy respectively. On November 5, 1977, Bush married Laura Welch. Together they had twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara. 

Career Before the Presidency:

After graduating from Yale, Bush spent a little less than six years in the Texas Air National Guard. He left the military to go to Harvard Business School. After getting his MBA, he started working in the oil industry in Texas. He helped his father campaign for the presidency in 1988. Then in 1989, he purchased part of the Texas Rangers baseball team. From 1995-2000, Bush served as the Governor of Texas.

Becoming the President:

The 2000 election was highly contentious. Bush ran against Democratic President Bill Clinton's vice president, Al Gore. The popular vote was won by Gore-Lieberman who carried 543,816 votes. However, the electoral vote was won by Bush-Cheney by 5 votes. In the end, they carried 371 electoral votes, one more than is necessary to win the election. The last time the president won the electoral vote without winning the popular vote was in 1888. Because of the controversy over the recount in Florida, the Gore campaign sued to have a manual recount. It went to the US Supreme Court and it was decided that the count in Florida was accurate. Therefore, Bush became President. 

2004 Election:

George Bush ran for reelection against Senator John Kerry. The election centered on how each would deal with terrorism and the war in Iraq. In the end, Bush won a little over 50% of the popular vote and 286 out of 538 electoral votes.

Events and Accomplishments of George Bush’s Presidency:

Bush took office in March 2001 and by September 11, 2001, the whole world was focused on New York City and the Pentagon with the attacks by Al-Qaeda operatives that resulted in the deaths of over 2,900 people. This event changed Bush's presidency forever. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan and the overthrow of the Taliban which had been harboring Al-Qaeda training camps.
In a very controversial move, Bush also declared war on Saddam Hussein and Iraq for the fear that they were hiding Weapons of Mass Destruction. America went to war with a coalition of twenty countries to enforce UN disarmament resolutions. It was later determined that he was not stockpiling them within the country. US forces took Baghdad and occupied Iraq. Hussein was captured in 2003. 

An important education act passed while Bush was president was the "No Child Left Behind Act" meant to improve public schools. He found an unlikely partner to push forward the bill in Democrat Ted Kennedy.

On January 14, 2004 the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded killing all on board. In the wake of this, Bush announced a new plan for NASA and space exploration including sending people back to the moon by 2018.

Events that occurred at the end of his term that had no real resolution included continuing hostilities between Palestine and Israel, worldwide terrorism, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and issues surrounding illegal immigrants in America. 

Career After the Presidency: 

Since leaving the presidency George W. Bush withdrew from a time from public life, focusing on painting. He avoided partisan politics, making sure not to comment on President Barack Obama's decisions. He has written a memoir. He has also teamed up with President BIll Clinton to help victims of Haiti after the Haitian earthquake in 2010. 

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Your Citation
Kelly, Martin. "George W. Bush - Forty-Third President of the United States." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Kelly, Martin. (2023, April 5). George W. Bush - Forty-Third President of the United States. Retrieved from Kelly, Martin. "George W. Bush - Forty-Third President of the United States." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 30, 2023).