The Exceptional Life of President George H.W. Bush
President George H.W. Bush | Photo: ABC News
On the night of Friday, November 30th, 2018, President George H.W. Bush passed away at the age of 94 in Houston, Texas. He lived an exceptional life of public service to the United States.
He was born on June 12th, 1924 in the town of Milton, Massachusetts. He was the second of five children to Dorothy Walker Bush and Senator Prescott Bush. When he was growing up, he was accepted at Yale University, but put his education on hold to join the military during World War II.
In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and was the youngest fighter pilot in the Navy. He took part in 58 combat missions, and in one of them, his plane was shot down in China by the Japanese. He survived the incident, but his crew did not.
In 1945 toward the end of the war, he married Barbara Pierce Bush while he was still in the Navy. They later had six children, including President George W. Bush, and Florida Governor Jeb Bush. In 1953, one of their children, Pauline Bush, passed away at the age of 3 from leukemia.
After leaving the Navy, H.W. Bush graduated from Yale University and then moved to Texas with Barbara and became the president of the Zapata Offshore Corporation (now named HRG group), an oil company he started which dealt with experimental offshore drilling.
He later unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1964, but became a member of the House two years later. After serving twice in the lower chamber, he was encouraged by President Richard Nixon to run for the senate once more— but he was unsuccessful a second time.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon appointed H.W. Bush as the Ambassador to the United Nations, and in 1973, Bush became the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Later, President Gerald Ford sent him to China as the chief of the U.S. liaison office. Soon after, Ford called Bush home to be the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He is credited with bringing morale back to the agency.
In 1979, he announced his candidacy for President of the United States. He was more of a moderate choice in comparison to his fellow Republican opponent Ronald Reagan, who later asked Bush to be his running mate.
From left to right: President George H.W. Bush, President Gerald Ford, President Ronald Reagan, and Governor William Milliken of Michigan. Photo: Walter P. Reuther Library of Wayne State University.
George H.W. Bush served 8 years as Vice President under Ronald Reagan. Later he became the Republican Nominee for President in 1988, choosing then Senator Dan Quayle as his running mate. Bush won the Presidency and had a successful term. During his Presidency, the Soviet Union dissolved, the Berlin Wall fell, and Manuel Noriega was arrested, Securing the Panama Canal.
President H.W. Bush also committed over 400,000 U.S. troops to Kuwait in a successful attempt to drive Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein out of the country and back to his homeland. This was known as Operation Desert Storm, and this caused his approval ratings to skyrocket to an all-time high.
Even though H.W. Bush and his administration were highly successful, he was soon defeated by presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992— preventing him from having a second term in office.
In 1993 during a visit to Kuwait to commemorate the Gulf War, an assassination attempt was uncovered against H.W. Bush, but he was unharmed. Kuwait soon convicted all but one of the Iraqi defendants in the plot.
Later in his life, George H.W. Bush spent his time in Texas with family. He is known for Parachuting out of a plane on many of his birthdays, including his 90th. He also became friends with his former opponent President Bill Clinton, with the two spending their time helping those in need through charity.
In the final months of H.W. Bush’s life, his wife Barbara Bush passed away on April 17th, 2018 and the former President was hospitalized many times due to pneumonia, bronchitis, a fall in his home, and low blood pressure and fatigue.
The former President, the former First lady, and their departed daughter are now together once again.
The nation needs to come together to celebrate the exceptional life of President George H.W. Bush. We need to also remember the extraordinary nation in which we live and what our own personal role in society is. George H.W. Bush gave his time and commitment to upholding the principles of the United States, and we should be eternally grateful for his service. In the words of the departed president: “America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.”
Some biographical information on the former President was obtained from a report by Bret Baier of Fox News
Keyden Smith-Herold is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Daily Analytical (dailyanalytical.com), a brand new publication.