President George H. W. Bush

  • Inaugurated as the 41st President of the United States on January 20, 1989.
  • Left office on January 20, 1993, following general election loss to Bill Clinton.
  • Born: June 12, 1924, Milton, Massachusetts.
  • Spouse: Barbara Pierce (b. June 8, 1925), married January 6, 1945.
  • Party: Republican
  • Religion: Episcopalian
  • Education: 1936-1942 - Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts.
    1945-1948 - Yale University.
  • Previous Occupation: Businessman
  • Military Service: 1942-1945 Served as a Navy pilot in World War II to rank of lieutenant, earned Distinguished Flying Cross.
  • Political Experience: 1968-1971 - Member, U.S. House of Representatives. (Texas, 7th District)
    1971-1972 - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
    1973-1974 - Chairman, Republican National Committee.
    1976-1977 - Director, Central Intelligence Agency.
    1981-1988 - Vice president of the United States under Ronald Reagan.

"Watergate - No they should have given me combat pay," President George H. W. Bush admits to Cokie Roberts in Presidential Conversations on the Constitution. "It was the worst job in the world," says Bush of his time as Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1973-74, during the Watergate scandal.


Bush knew government and politics from extensive experience. In addition to his Chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, Bush served as a Congressman from Texas, Ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of the U. S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming Ronald Reagan's Vice President. His range of service in government preceding his election to the White House in 1988 qualifies Bush as possibly one of the most experienced men ever hold the office.


Among the issues that challenged the Bush Administration and the nation from 1988 to 1992 were: the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill, and the Rodney King trial with the ensuing riots in Southern California, and of course the Gulf War against Iraq. Of that war, Bush comments: "The United Nations resolutions that were crafted not to capture Baghdad or not to kill Saddam - to liberate Kuwait - we did it and for the most part we came home."


The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum hosts an extensive biography. A more succinct biography can be found at PBS American Experience and White House Kids website hosts a biography for the younger student of American government.


Learn more about the issues faced by the Bush Administration:


Bush Presidential timeline
(University of San Diego)


PBS Frontline: Gulf War


Gulf War
(University of San Diego)


Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill
(Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council)


PBS Frontline: The Legacy of Rodney King