92. George H.W. Bush: From Pilot to President


George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st president of the United States, and the first president to serve the country in his family. Bush was a two-term vice president during Ronald Reagan's terms in office, and served as president for one term. His catchphrase during his election campaign and during his presidency was to create "a kinder and gentler nation." He was determined to bring the country back to traditional American values.

Born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts, he was a member of a politically involved family. He enlisted into the United States Navy on his 18th birthday, and became the youngest pilot. He eventually flew in 58 combat missions during World War II. He earned a Distinguished Flying Cross after being shot down in the Pacific Ocean by Japanese anti-aircraft fire. He was rescued by a navy submarine. After his service to the U.S. military, Bush enrolled into Yale University, which is one of the most prestigious schools in the country. He excelled academically, and in sports at Yale, where he played baseball. He was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity.

Bush campaigned for the 1980 Republican nomination, but lost to Reagan. He was, however, chosen as running mate, and the two men won the election easily. Bush won the 1988 presidential election, and became the first president to serve post Cold War. His presidency was marked by Middle-Eastern threats to the American people, primarily from Iraq's Saddam Hussein. He sent more than 400,000 troops to Kuwait after Hussein invaded its Middle-Eastern neighbor. Bush's presidency was marred by a stagnant economy, and discontent with the status quo. He lost the 1992 presidential election to Bill Clinton.

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