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Who is George W. Bush?

By Brendan McGuigan
Updated May 23, 2024
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George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. He is the son of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, and Barbara Bush, the former First Lady. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1946, and is one of six children, of whom five are currently living. George W. Bush is married to Laura Bush, his wife since 1977, and together they have twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna Bush.

George W. Bush comes from a fairly wealthy, political family from Connecticut. His grandfather served as a Senator from Connecticut from 1952 to 1963, a political career he built after an early start as an executive banker on Wall Street. George W. Bush attended the Kinkaid School in his early years, and the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts for his high school education. He went on to study history at Yale, where he was famously a member of the secret society of the Skull and Bones.

After school, George W. Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1968, where he served until 1973. Following his discharge, George W. Bush went to Harvard University, where he received an MBA. In 1978, Bush ran for the House of Representatives to represent Texas’ 19th district. He lost the election to Kent Hance by 6000 votes.

George W. Bush then took a break from politics, focusing on the oil industry. He started the company Arbusto Energy, which later became Bush Exploration, to engage in oil exploration in the state of Texas. In 1984 Bush Exploration merged with Spectrum 7, and George W. Bush became chairman of the company.

In 1988, George W. Bush moved to Washington, D.C. to assist his father, George H.W. Bush in his bid for the presidency. He campaigned strongly for his father throughout the nation, and acted as a campaign surrogate while his father was running. His father went on to win the election, and George W. Bush turned more attention to his own political career.

In 1994, George W. Bush declared his candidacy for governor of Texas, at the same time his brother, Jeb Bush, was running for governor of Florida. Bush ran against a popular Democratic incumbent, Ann Richards, who he nonetheless beat with a healthy 52% of the vote. George W. Bush was an incredibly popular governor, rewinning his office in 1998 to become the first governor of Texas ever to be elected to two consecutive terms. Some hallmarks of his governorship include providing government funding for religious groups offering drug and alcohol prevention programs, domestic violence programs, and general education programs, and pushing through a two-billion dollar tax cut for the state.

In 2000, George W. Bush announced his candidacy for President of the United States. He beat out a strong field of contenders, most notably John McCain, to get the Republican nomination. In one of the closest elections in US history, and amidst numerous allegations of voter fraud, George W. Bush won the presidency, and became the 43rd President of the United States. In 2004, he won re-election against Democratic candidate John Kerry in another close election.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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