33 Vintage Photos of George H.W. Bush Before He Became the 41st President of the United States

George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018) was an American politician and businessman who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993. A member of the Republican Party, Bush also served as the 43rd vice president from 1981 to 1989 under Ronald Reagan, in the U.S. House of Representatives, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and as Director of Central Intelligence.

Bush was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, and attended Phillips Academy before serving in the United States Navy Reserve during World War II. After the war, he graduated from Yale and moved to West Texas, where he established a successful oil company. After an unsuccessful run for the United States Senate, he won the election to the 7th congressional district of Texas in 1966. President Richard Nixon appointed Bush to the position of Ambassador to the United Nations in 1971 and to the position of chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1973. In 1974, President Gerald Ford appointed him as the Chief of the Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China, and in 1976 Bush became the Director of Central Intelligence. Bush ran for president in 1980, but was defeated in the Republican presidential primaries by Ronald Reagan. He was then elected vice president in 1980 and 1984 as Reagan’s running mate.

In the 1988 presidential election, Bush defeated Democrat Michael Dukakis, becoming the first incumbent vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1836. Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency, as he navigated the final years of the Cold War and played a key role in the reunification of Germany. Bush presided over the invasion of Panama and the Gulf War, ending the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in the latter conflict. Though the agreement was not ratified until after he left office, Bush negotiated and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which created a trade bloc consisting of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Domestically, Bush reneged on a 1988 campaign promise by enacting legislation to raise taxes with the justification of reducing the budget deficit. He also signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and successfully appointed David Souter and Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Bush lost the 1992 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton following an economic recession, his turnaround on his tax promise, and the decreased emphasis of foreign policy in a post–Cold War political climate.

After leaving office in 1993, Bush was active in humanitarian activities, often working alongside Bill Clinton, his former opponent. With the victory of his son, George W. Bush, in the 2000 presidential election, the two became the second father–son pair to serve as the nation’s president, following John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Another son, Jeb Bush, unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in the 2016 Republican primaries. Historians generally rank Bush as an above-average president. (Wikipedia)

George Herbert Walker Bush is pictured when he was one and a half year old.
Five-year-old George H. W. Bush stands with his sister Mercy in Milton, Massachusetts, 1929.
Here Bush is as a young teenager, July 1937.
George H.W. Bush at summer camp, 1939.
The future president poses in his Phillips Academy Andover baseball uniform, 1941.
Bush served in the Navy from June 1942 to September 1945.
George H.W. Bush, Naval Aviator Cadet, 1943.
The wedding of George H.W. Bush and Barbara Pierce, in Rye, New York, 1945.
Bush was a Navy pilot during the war.
Baseball legend Babe Ruth (left) presents his papers to Yale University, received by Yale baseball team captain George Bush, 1946.
George Bush is shown as captain of the Yale baseball team, 1947.
George H. W. Bush became Bush Sr. a year before this picture was taken at Yale University, 1947.
The Bush’s pose for a family portrait, 1956.
George H.W. Bush and son George W. Bush at the commissioning ceremonies for the Scorpion off-shore drilling platform, 1956.
George Bush and his wife Barbara cast their votes in Houston for the Texas senate primary race in 1964, his entry into politics. Bush was seeking the Republican primary victory over opponent Jack Cox, and went on to oppose (and lose to) Sen. Ralph Yarborough in the November general election.
George Bush Sr. proudly displays his son George Bush Jr.’s Texas Air National Guard uniform, 1968.
George H.W. Bush, R-Texas, appears in Washington, March 1968.
Rep. George H.W. Bush, R-Texas, talks with a group of young people at a rally in Houston, Texas. October 1970
U.S. Congressman George Bush speaks to students on SMU campus during his run for a Republican Senate seat, a race that he lost, 1970. Bush was a U.S. Congressman from Texas from 1966-1970.
Here is Bush’s portrait as chairman of the Republican National Committee, May 1974.
Bush looks pensive while discussing U.S. intelligence reform, February 1976.
Bush gives a speech as the Republican vice presidential candidate, July 1980.
Vice Presidential candidate George H. W. Bush sits with his family dog Fred in Kennebunkport, Maine, September 1980.
Former President Gerald Ford lends his support to Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan and his running mate George H.W. Bush, in Peoria, Ill. Nov 3, 1980
George H. W. Bush stands beside President Reagan at his inauguration, November 1981.
Newly elected Vice President George H. W. Bush poses on his porch, 1982.
Vice President Bush meets Princess Diana and Prince Charles at the British Ambassador’s Residence, November 1985.
Bush, then a presidential candidate, laughs with his wife, August 1988.
Bush speaks at campaign rally near the end of his presidential race, September 1988.
President-elect George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara wave to supporters in Houston, Texas after winning the presidential election. Nov 8, 1988
Outgoing President Ronald Reagan congratulates newly-inaugurated President George H.W. Bush, as first lady Barbara Bush (center), George W. Bush (top right) and others applaud during the swearing-in ceremony, 1989.
President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara stand in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the inauguration ceremony, January 1989.
George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States.

(Photos: Getty Images, AP Photo, and George Bush Presidential Library)

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