(55.) GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH (1924-2018)
Republican Bush/Dan Quayle
Defeated by William J. Clinton/Albert A. Gore, Jr. 1992
George Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts on June 12, 1924. On his 18th birthday Bush enlisted in the armed forces. The youngest pilot in the Navy when he received his wings, he flew 58 combat missions over the Pacific. On one mission he was shot down by Japanese fire and was rescued from the water by a U. S. submarine. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action.
Bush next turned his energies toward completing his education. At Yale University he excelled both in sports and in his studies; he was captain of the baseball team and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation Bush embarked on a career in the oil industry in west Texas.
He served two terms as a Representative to Congress, but twice he ran unsuccessfully for the Senate. He was appointed to a series of high-level positions: Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U. S. Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
In 1980 Bush campaigned for the Republican nomination for President. He lost, but was chosen as a running mate by Ronald Reagan. In 1988 Bush won the Republican nomination and became the 41st president. He became president at a time when many Americans were uncertain about their country’s future. Bush was unable to withstand discontent at home from a faltering economy, rising violence in inner cities, and continued high deficit spending. In 1992 he lost his bid for reelection.