George H. W. Bush

41st president of the United States (1924-2018)

George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018) was an American politician who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Before he became president, he was the 43rd vice president from 1981 to 1989 (under the Ronald Reagan administration), an ambassador, a congressman, and Director of Central Intelligence. He was married to Barbara Bush from 1945 until her death in 2018. His children include the 43rd president of the United States George W. Bush former governor of Florida Jeb Bush, and Dorothy Bush Koch. He was an Episcopalian.[1]

George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush presidential portrait (cropped).jpg
Official portrait, 1989
41st President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
Vice PresidentDan Quayle
Preceded byRonald Reagan
Succeeded byBill Clinton
40th Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byWalter Mondale
Succeeded byDan Quayle
Director of Central Intelligence
In office
January 30, 1976 – January 20, 1977
PresidentGerald Ford
Preceded byWilliam Colby
Succeeded byStansfield Turner
Chief of the Liaison Office to the People's Republic of China
In office
September 26, 1974 – December 7, 1975
PresidentGerald Ford
Preceded byDavid Bruce
Succeeded byThomas Gates
Chairperson of the Republican National Committee
In office
January 19, 1973 – September 16, 1974
Preceded byBob Dole
Succeeded byMary Smith
United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
March 1, 1971 – January 18, 1973
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byCharles Yost
Succeeded byJohn Scali
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1971
Preceded byJohn Dowdy
Succeeded byWilliam Reynolds Archer Jr.
Personal details
George Herbert Walker Bush

(1924-06-12)June 12, 1924
Milton, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedNovember 30, 2018(2018-11-30) (aged 94)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Resting placeGeorge Bush Presidential Library, College Station, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Barbara Pierce
(m. 1945; her death 2018)
RelationsWilliam (Brother)
Alma materYale University
AwardsDistinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (3)
Presidential Unit Citation
SignatureCursive signature in ink
WebsitePresidential Library
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1942–1945
RankUS-O2 insignia.svg Lieutenant (junior grade)
UnitFast Carrier Task Force
Battles/warsWorld War II

On November 25, 2017, Bush was the longest-lived U.S. president. He passed the 93 years and 165 days lifespan of Gerald Ford, who died on December 26, 2006. On November 30, 2018, Bush died at his home in Houston, Texas at the age of 94.

Early lifeEdit

Bush in 1925

Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in 173 Adam Street, Milton, Massachusetts.[2][3] His father was politician Prescott Bush. He studied at Yale University. In June 1943, Bush became the youngest pilot in the United States Navy at the time.[4]

Bush served in the United States Navy from 1942 until 1945. During WWII, his plane was shot down. He won the Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He married Barbara Pierce in 1945. They had six children.

Early careerEdit

Bush worked for Zapata Oil in Texas and was a politician in Texas, running for the Senate in 1964, but losing to Ralph Yarborough and later again in 1970, though losing again to Lloyd Bentsen.

He was later a House Representative. He was also Republican Party Chairman and tried the vice presidency, with the support of such Congressional conservatives as Senator Barry Goldwater after Nixon resigned and Ford took office, but lost to liberal Republican Nelson Rockefeller in 1974.[5][6] In 1980, Bush also ran against Ronald Reagan for the Republican Party's candidacy for President but lost. He was then named Republican Vice Presidential candidate by Reagan after Reagan defeated him. Reagan and Bush were elected President and Vice President that year.

During World War II, Bush was a crewman on a TBM Avenger.[7] He had survived many crashes and sunk a Japanese ship. He later became a diplomat and head of the CIA.[8]

Presidency, 1989–93Edit

After being Ronald Reagan's vice president, Bush was elected president in 1988 by defeating Michael Dukakis. While he was president, the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union fell apart.[9] He was known for his failed promise speech "Read my lips: no new taxes".

In 1990, Bush's off-hand comments about broccoli caused a minor political controversy.[10] In 1992, he visited Kiichi Miyazawa when he vomited on his lap and soon fainted during a dinner feast.[11] Hours later, Bush made a comment that he was suffering from the flu.[11]

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in order to steal their supplies of oil, Bush led the United States and many other countries to protect Kuwait. The conflict was called the Gulf War. He also invaded Panama to remove Manuel Noreiga, who was guilty of drug trafficking.

At his home, Bush also signed in important laws, such as the Americans With Disabilities Act.[12] However, the country suffered from a recession.[13] This was embarrassing, and many people believe this was the reason he lost the presidential election of 1992 to Bill Clinton.

Personal lifeEdit

Bush and his son George W. Bush at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing

Bush resided on a ranch in Houston, Texas with his family. After his presidency, he supported John McCain and his son George W. Bush. He supported Mitt Romney and Rick Perry for president. He attended the opening of the USS George H.W. Bush, a naval ship named after him. He traveled with his son to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

On February 15, 2011, Bush was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, by President Barack Obama.

He was present at his son's presidential library opening ceremony on April 25, 2013. In July 2013, Bush had his head shaved in a show of support for the two-year-old son of a member of his security detail, who had leukemia. He is the most recent president that was a veteran during World War II.

Bush sent a letter to Donald Trump in January 2017 to inform him of his (Bush's) poor health that he would not be able to attend Trump's inauguration on January 20 and gave his best wishes.[14]

He was the father of George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, and Dorothy Bush Koch. He had two other sons; his other daughter Robin died of leukemia in 1953; his father (also a politician) was Prescott Bush. On April 13, 2013, he became a great-grandfather when his granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager gave birth to a daughter.


Bush suffered from a form of Parkinson's disease which forced him to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around, since at least 2012.[15][16]

Bush with Bill Clinton in 2006

On November 23, 2012, Bush had a bronchitis-like cough that initially brought him to Methodist Hospital in Houston for treatment. He was supposed to be released before Christmas, but was kept in and over the holiday because he got worse with a high fever. On December 23, 2012, he started to be in the intensive-care unit.[17] On December 29, 2012, his health improved and moved out of intensive care.[18] He was discharged in the hospital on January 14, 2013. On December 23, 2014, Bush was once again hospitalized at the Methodist Hospital after suffering a "shortness of breath".[19] He was released from the hospital on December 30, 2014.

On July 15, 2015, Bush fell at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine and broke a vertebra in his neck.[20]

On January 18, 2017, he was admitted to the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist Hospital, where he was sedated for a procedure to treat an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia.[14]

On April 22, 2018, after the burial of Bush's wife Barbara, he was hospitalized for sepsis and was placed under intensive care.[21]


Bush's casket at the United States Capitol Building

Bush died on November 30, 2018 at his home in Houston from Parkinson's-related complications, aged 94.[22] A state funeral was held at the Washington National Cathedral.

Tributes and condolences were offered by former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, and then-current President Donald Trump.[23][24] He lied in state in the United States Capitol and was buried next to his wife at the George Bush Presidential Library.[25]

Other namesEdit

Since Bush had the same first and last names as his son, he was often called George H. W. Bush or George Bush Sr. (George Bush senior). Some people call him "41" or "Bush 41" because he was the 41st President.

Comments on broccoliEdit

In 1990, President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, made a casual remark about broccoli (a vegetable), and said he would never eat it.

I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid. And my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States. And I'm not gonna eat any more broccoli!

The President made this comment in 1990, shortly after a journalist from the U.S. News and World Report broke the story that Bush banned the vegetable from Air Force One.[27] George S. Dunlop, President of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, gave First Lady Barbara Bush a bouquet of the vegetable an additional 10 tons in trucks.[28][29]

A few days afterwards, Bush hosted a state dinner to honour Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the Prime Minister of Poland, and journalists noted there was no broccoli on the menu, as most of the 10 tons of broccoli given to the President's family by the farmers had been donated to the Capital Area Food Bank.[10][30]


  1. University, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown. "George H.W. Bush". Archived from the original on 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  2. "George Bush's White House biography".
  3. "Presidential Avenue: George Bush". 2007-10-08. Archived from the original on 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  4. "Biography - Lieutenant Junior Grade George Bush, USNR". Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  5. Parmet, Herbert George Bush: The Life of a Lone Star Yankee pages 168-171
  6. "Chapter 13 – Bush Attempts The Vice Presidency, 1974 «".
  7. Turner, John Frayn Fight for the Air: Air Battles of World War II Airlife Publishing Ltd 2000 page 199
  8. Parmet, Herbert S. Geoge Bush: The Life of a Lone Star Yankee Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey 2001 pages 184-207
  9. Genovese, Michael A. Encyclopedia of the American Presidency Revised Edition Infobase Publishing 2010 New York page 61
  10. 10.0 10.1 Lauter, David (27 March 1990). "Broccoli Stalks Bush on White House Lawn : Veggies: First Lady accepts California gift, but most of it goes to charity. Flap gives pundits food for thought". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Wines, Michael (January 9, 1992). "Bush Collapses at State Dinner With the Japanese". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-28. President Bush fell suddenly ill and collapsed at a state dinner being given for him Wednesday night at the home of the Japanese Prime Minister.
  12. Popadiuk, Roman The Leadership of George Bush: An Insider's View of the Forty-First President Texas AM University Press 2009 page 190
  13. edited by William F. Levantrosser, Rosanna Perotti A Noble Calling: Character and the George HW Bush Presidency Hofstra University page 318
  14. 14.0 14.1 Garcia, Feliks (18 January 2017). "George HW Bush sends personal note to Donald Trump on why he can't attend inauguration". The Independent. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  15. "Photo P012712PS-0676". 2012-01-27. The Whitehouse. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
  16. Peppers, Margot (2013-04-09). "A beaming George H W Bush poses for a photo". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
  17. "Spokesman: George H.W. Bush in intensive care". Yahoo News. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  18. "Former President Bush moved out of intensive care". USA Today. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  19. "Ex-President George H.W. Bush Taken to Hospital". ABC Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  20. "George H.W. Bush is stable in Maine hospital after breaking a bone in his neck during fall at family compound". Daily Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  21. "Former President George H. W. Bush in intensive care". CNN. April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  22. ""Former President George H.W. Bush Dies At 94"". NPR. 30 November 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  23. David, Javier E.; Breuninger, Kevin (1 December 2018). "Tributes pour in for former president George HW Bush as state funeral preparations begin". CNBC. NBCUniversal. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  24. Ingber, Sasha (1 December 2018). "Presidents And Former Colleagues React To George H.W. Bush's Death". NPR. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  25. Pergram, Chad (2018-12-01). "George H.W. Bush to lie in state in US Capitol; Trump to attend funeral". Fox News. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  26. Original:(ABC News Archive)
  27. Dowd, Maureen (23 March 1990). "'I'm President,' So No More Broccoli! (Published 1990)". The New York Times.
  28. "Broccoli Presentation". 26 Mairch 1990. Retrieved 8 October 2020. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  29. Lauter, David (27 March 1990). "Broccoli Stalks Bush on White House Lawn : Veggies: First Lady accepts California gift, but most of it goes to charity. Flap gives pundits food for thought". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  30. Carman, Tim (5 December 2018). "As president, George H.W. Bush never wavered from his hard line on broccoli". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 October 2020.

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