George W. Bush

— 43rd President of the United States —

View full portraits at:
National Portrait Gallery or the White House Presidential Portrait Gallery

January 20, 2001 to Present

BORN: July 6, 1946
New Haven, Connecticut

OCCUPATION: Oil man, baseball owner, governor
Laura Welch, 1977
Jenna, Barbara.

Some call him a partier who never grew up, others question his intelligence, but no matter what his detractors say, there is no denying that George W. Bush captured the hearts and minds of conservative America to win two terms as the 43rd President of the United States.

Mr. Bush was born on July 6, 1946 to a family of wealth, privilege and political clout.His father, George H. Bush, had a long career of public service before becoming Ronald Reagan's vice president, and later the 41st President of the United States.George W. Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, was an influential businessman and U.S. Senator.

As a young man, George W. liked a joke, liked a drink and liked to socialize.When he followed his father and grandfather’s footsteps and was accepted to Yale, Bush joined a fraternity that was known for intense partying, a fact that reared its head frequently during the election campaigns.

Mr. Bush received a bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1968.He later received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1975

Mr. Bush’s first term was almost non-existent as he actually lost the popular vote to Al Gore in November of 2000, and election problems in Florida delayed the crowning of a new president for weeks.After much controversy, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Mr. Bush as the rightful winner.His second term election was not as close, as he defeated Sen. John Kerry in both the popular and electoral vote.

September 11, 2001 was a date that will be etched forever in the minds of Americans and most probably will define Mr. Bush’s presidency.Thousands died in the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor when terrorists hijacked four jumbo jetliners.Two were purposely crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, inflicting most of the damage and death.Another was crashed into the Pentagon, and only because of the actions of heroic passengers was the fourth jetliner thwarted from its unknown intended target, crashing instead into the Pennsylvania countryside.

Mr. Bush got high marks for his immediate handling of the attacks, calming a nation in time of trouble.In President Bush's words, "in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment."His swift decision to attack the terrorist camps in Afghanistan was supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, and his national approval rating soared.His later decision to invade Iraq met with many detractors, but conservatives defended his plan and ultimate capture of the dictator Saddam Hussein.

Prior to running for president, Mr. Bush was a businessman.He was active in the energy business before serving as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers’ He was elected Governor of Texas on November 8, 1994, with 53.5 percent of the vote. He became the first Governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms when he was re-elected on November 3, 1998, with 68.6 percent of the vote.

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