George W. Bush
-George Walker Bush (1946-...), was president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He was elected in 2000 and reelected in 2004. Bush, a Republican, had served as the governor of Texas before being elected to the presidency.
-Family background. George Walker Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut. His parents were living in New Haven while his father was a student at Yale University.
-Boyhood. Bush grew up in Midland, in western Texas. His parents moved to the state from Connecticut when he was 2 years old. His father wanted to get involved in the booming oil business.
-School life. Bush attended Sam Houston Elementary School in Midland. He then went on to San Jacinto Junior High. He spent one year, seventh grade, at San Jacinto.
-College. In 1964, Bush began his studies at Yale University, the college his father had attended. He majored in history. Classmates found him friendly and fun-loving. He enjoyed parties and sports, especially rugby. He was elected president of his fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon. He also belonged to Yale's elite secret society, Skull and Bones.
-Marriage. In mid-1977, shortly after announcing his candidacy for Congress, Bush attended a cookout at the home of friends. There, he met Laura Welch (Nov. 4, 1946-...). The couple started dating. They married about three months later, on Nov. 5, 1977.
-Baseball ownership. In late 1988, Bush learned that the Texas Rangers baseball team was for sale. The American League team was based in the nearby city of Arlington. Bush and a group of investors bought the team in 1989. Bush became a managing general partner. He was an enthusiastic spectator at Ranger games. He worked to promote the team and increase attendance.
-Governor of Texas. As governor, Bush earned high approval ratings. He worked to get legislation passed on his proposed reforms. His lieutenant governor was a Democrat. Democrats also controlled both houses of the Texas Legislature. But Bush became known for achieving success. He used a combination of personal charm and an ability to compromise. The lawmakers enacted legislation that put limits on welfare benefits. They gave local school districts more authority. They also imposed stricter penalties on juvenile criminals and placed limits on civil lawsuits.
-The election of 2000 was one of the tightest presidential contests in U.S. history. The outcome was in doubt for weeks after the election. It depended on which candidate had won Florida. The vote was extremely close in Florida. The state's election officials conducted a machine recount. After the recount, Bush had more votes than Gore. Gore then asked for recounts by hand in certain Florida counties. Bush challenged in court the need for those recounts. Five weeks after the election, a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States ended the recounts. Bush thus received Florida's electoral votes and won the presidency. Gore, however, had won the popular vote nationwide. Bush became the 43rd president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2001.
-Terrorist attacks. Bush and the nation faced a crisis on Sept. 11, 2001, when the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history occurred. Terrorists in hijacked jetliners crashed into the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and into the Pentagon Building near Washington, D.C. About 3,000 people died. The World Trade Center towers and part of the Pentagon were destroyed.
-The U.S. economy had begun to slow by March 2001. After September 11, unemployment increased and the economy weakened further. Companies hit hardest by the slowdown included many airlines. A number of U.S. airlines faced bankruptcy. After the attacks, they needed to undertake costly overhauls of their security systems. At the same time, their incomes declined sharply because many people were afraid to travel by air. Congress passed a $15-billion package of cash and loan guarantees to support the failing airlines.
-Corporate wrongdoing. Enron Corporation, once a leading U.S. energy company, filed for bankruptcy in December 2001. It was one of the largest corporate bankruptcy claims in U.S. history. Investigators began looking into charges that the company had used dishonest accounting practices to hide its financial problems from investors. Many Enron employees and other investors lost large amounts of money as a result of the company's collapse
-The election of 2004. In September 2004, the Republican Party’s national convention in New York City renominated Bush and Vice President Cheney for a second term. In the November election, Bush and Cheney defeated Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts and Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, the Democratic presidential and vice presidential nominees.
-Hurricane Katrina. In August 2005, the United States suffered one of the worst disasters in its history. Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. About 1,800 people died. Officials estimated the damage from the storm to cost about $100 billion. Perceptions that the federal government was slow to react to the disaster contributed to Bush's lowest approval ratings up to that time, along High gasoline prices and other factors also contributed. Bush pledged the federal government would do “whatever it takes” to rebuild the devastated region, including New Orleans. New Orleans was one of the areas hardest hit by the hurricane and the floods that followed.
-Later years. In January 2010, an earthquake struck the nation of Haiti in the Caribbean Sea. The quake caused tremendous devastation and thousands of deaths. President Barack Obama involved Bush in disaster relief efforts. Bush joined with former President Bill Clinton to lead a fund-raising effort to aid earthquake victims.
Minutaglio, Bill. "Bush, George Walker." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2013.
Has any president not liked living in the White House?