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President George H.W. Bush in the press briefing room at the White House in 1990

George Bush (Senior): Biography

Image Credit: mark reinstein / | Above: President George H.W. Bush in the press briefing room at the White House in 1990

George Bush attended Phillips Academy in Massachusetts. After graduating in 1942, he joined the US Navy, and he was a naval aviator during World War II.

During one particular mission, Bush's aircraft was hit and his engine caught on fire. Despite the fire, he completed his attack and released the bombs over his target, scoring several damaging hits. With his engine on fire, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member bailed out of the aircraft.

After the War, he attended Yale University, and was inducted into the secret society Skull and Bones, helping him to build friendships and political support.

He married Barbara Pierce in 1945. They have six children, including former President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Bush ventured into the Texas oil business after the war, with mixed results. He returned to politics, but lost his 1964 Senate campaign. He was elected in 1966 to the House of Representatives, but lost his second attempt at a Senate seat in 1970.

He served as US Ambassador to the United Nations, US Envoy to communist China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 1980, Bush ran for President, losing in the Republican party primaries to Ronald Reagan. Reagan selected Bush as his Vice Presidential candidate, and they won.

The Reagan and Bush ticket won again in 1984. In 1988, after eight years as Vice President, Bush ran for President in his own right. He selected the unknown, and later very unpopular, Senator Dan Quayle as his running mate.

During his Presidency, George Bush led an attack on Iraq, after it, under Saddam Hussein, invaded the oil-rich country of Kuwait. He has often been accused of being motivated by his own financial interests in the oil industry.

The latter portion of his Presidency was marred by a widespread perception that he was somehow out of touch with real life in America. This perception, and the US ecenomic recession of the time, cost him his second term bid in 1992, against Bill Clinton.

After losing the election, he took on various business interests, and is now colossally wealthy, living with wife, Barbara, in Texas, where he continues to enjoy sway over world affairs through his son.