BUSH, George W(alker)
(1946- ), 43d president of the U.S. (2001- ). The eldest son of George H. W. Bush, 41st president of the U.S. (1989-93), he is the first son of a former president to win the White House since John Quincy Adams in 1824.
Born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Conn., he spent most of his childhood first in Midland and then in Houston, Tex. He earned his undergraduate degree from Yale, the same university his father had attended, and fulfilled his military service requirement with the Texas Air National Guard (1968-73). After earning a master's degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School, he returned to Midland in 1975, hoping, like his father, to make his fortune in the oil industry. In 1977 he married a schoolteacher and librarian, Laura Welch (1946- ). He lost a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives the following year.
Bush's rapid financial and political ascent did not begin until 1986, when he turned 40, swore off alcohol, and renewed his Christian faith. A business deal with Harken Oil and Gas, a Dallas-based firm, offered him the financial stake he needed, and after assisting in his father's 1988 presidential campaign, he became managing partner of the Texas Rangers professional baseball team in 1989. He was elected governor of Texas in 1994, unseating a popular Democrat incumbent, and won a landslide reelection victory in 1998, the same year his brother Jeb Bush (1953- ) was elected governor of Florida.
The 2000 Election.
Campaigning as a "compassionate conservative" in 2000, Bush won the Republican presidential nomination and, together with his vice-presidential running mate, Richard B. Cheney, went on to defeat the Democratic ticket of Al Gore and Joseph I. Lieberman in one of the tightest presidential elections...