U.S. President, 1989-1993
GEORGE W. BUSH
George Walker Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1946 while his father was attending Yale University after service in World War II. The family moved to Midland, Texas, where George H. W. Bush entered the oil exploration business. He spent his formative years there, attending Midland public schools. Bush graduated from Yale, received a business degree from Harvard, and then returned to Midland where he also went into the oil business. In Midland he met and married Laura Welch, a teacher and librarian. Bush served as Governor of Texas from 1995-2000, and in 2001, became the 43rd President of the United States at the age of 54. Bush defeated Vice President Al Gore Jr. in a closely contested and controversial election, ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. Bush was challenged in his re-election bid in 2004 by Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry and won. Much of Bush’s presidency was defined by the September 11 attacks in 2001, which transformed him into a wartime president. In response, Bush formed a new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security, and sent American forces into Afghanistan to break up the Taliban. The President also recast the nation’s intelligence gathering and analysis services, and ordered reform of the military forces. At the same time he delivered on his campaign pledge to cut taxes. His most controversial act was the invasion of Iraq on the belief that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein posed a grave threat to the United States. Saddam was captured, but the disruption of Iraq and the killing of American servicemen and friendly Iraqis by insurgents became the challenge of his second term.