George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States (1989–1993). A Republican, he had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States (1981–1989), a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence. He is the oldest former President and Vice President, and the last former President who is a veteran of World War II. Bush is often referred to as "George H. W. Bush", "Bush 41", "Bush the Elder", Bush I, or "George Bush, Sr." to distinguish him from his son, former President George W. Bush. Prior to that son's fame or notability, he was widely known simply as George Bush.
Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to Senator Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Bush postponed college, enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his 18th birthday, and became the youngest aviator in the U.S. Navy at the time. He served until the end of the war, then attended Yale University. Graduating in 1948, he moved his family to West Texas and entered the oil business, becoming a millionaire by the age of 40.
He became involved in politics soon after founding his own oil company, serving as a member of the House of Representatives and Director of Central Intelligence, among other positions. He failed to win the Republican nomination for President in 1980, but was chosen by party nominee Ronald Reagan to be his running mate, and the two were elected. During his tenure, Bush headed administration task forces on deregulation and fighting the "War on Drugs".
In 1988, Bush ran a successful campaign to succeed Reagan as President, defeating Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis. Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency: military operations were conducted in Panama and the Persian Gulf; the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, and the Soviet Union dissolved two years later. Domestically, Bush reneged on a 1988 campaign promise and after a struggle with...