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George W. Bush Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

(CNN) — Here’s a look at the life of George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States.


Birth date: July 6, 1946

Birth place: New Haven, Connecticut

Birth name: George Walker Bush

Father: George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President of the United States

Mother: Barbara (Pierce) Bush

Marriage: Laura (Welch) Bush (November 5, 1977-present)

Children: Barbara and Jenna, twins

Education: Yale University, B.A., 1968; Harvard Business School, M.B.A., 1975

Military: Texas Air National Guard, F-102 fighter pilot, 1968-1970

Religion: Methodist


After John Quincy Adams, George W. Bush is the second president to be the son of a previous president.

His grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a US senator from Connecticut. His younger brother, Jeb Bush, served as the governor of Florida and ran for president in 2016.

His interests include oil painting, golf, bicycling and baseball.


1968-1970 – Pilot, Texas Air National Guard.

1977-1986 – Founder/CEO of Arbusto Energy, an oil exploration firm. In 1982, the name is changed to Bush Exploration.

1978 – Runs for an open seat in the House of Representatives and loses to his Democratic challenger, Kent Hance.

1984 – Bush Exploration merges with Spectrum 7 Energy Corp. Bush is named CEO of the new company.

1986 – Harken Energy Corporation purchases Spectrum 7 and Bush is appointed to Harken’s board of directors.

1988 – Works on his father’s presidential campaign.

1989 – Along with a group of partners, purchases the Texas Rangers baseball franchise.

1989-1994 – Managing general partner of the Texas Rangers baseball team.

1994-2000 – Governor of Texas.

November 3, 1998 – Is elected to a second term as governor of Texas with 68.8% of the vote. He is the first governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms.

March 7, 1999 – Announces he has formed a presidential exploratory committee.

November 7, 2000 – The US presidential election takes place, but is too close to call.

November 17, 2000 – The Florida Supreme Court blocks certification of the statewide ballot after an appeal is filed by lawyers for Vice President Al Gore.

December 8, 2000 – A statewide recount is ordered by the Florida Supreme Court of thousands of questionable ballots.

December 12, 2000 – In the case, Bush v. Gore, the US Supreme Court reverses the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling and suspends the state’s recount. The 5-4 decision paves the way for Bush to be sworn in as president, even though he lost the popular vote.

December 13, 2000 – Gore concedes.

January 20, 2001 – Bush is sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States.

September 11, 2001 – During a morning visit to an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, Bush is told that two planes have flown into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack. He leaves the school and boards Air Force One as aides fear for his safety.

September 12, 2001 – Visits the Pentagon.

September 14, 2001 – Visits Ground Zero and gives a speech to firemen, police and other rescue workers.

January 29, 2002 – In the State of the Union address, he refers to North Korea, Iraq and Iran as “an axis of evil.”

March 17, 2003 – Says that Saddam Hussein has 48 hours to leave Iraq to avoid war.

March 19, 2003 – In a televised address, says that military operations have begun in Iraq.

May 1, 2003 – Lands on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, decorated with a “Mission Accomplished” banner, and declares major combat operations in Iraq are over.

September 23, 2003 – Addresses the United Nations on Iraq, Afghanistan and weapons of mass destruction.

November 27, 2003 – Bush surprises US troops in Baghdad by joining them for Thanksgiving dinner. It is the first trip to Iraq by a US president.

December 14, 2003 – In a televised address, discusses the capture of Saddam Hussein.

March 9, 2004 – Secures the GOP nomination for president after winning primaries in four states.

November 2, 2004 – Wins reelection over Democratic candidate John Kerry.

January 20, 2005 – Sworn is for a second term.

April 8, 2005 – Bush along with Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush attends the funeral for Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square.

March 1, 2006 – Bush and wife Laura make a surprise visit to US troops in Afghanistan. The president also meets with President Hamid Karzai.

June 13, 2006 – Bush makes a surprise visit to Iraq, meeting with new Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and with American troops stationed in Baghdad.

June 9, 2007 – Meets Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.

November 9, 2010 – Bush’s memoir, “Decision Points,” is published.

November 14, 2010 – A special “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” airs featuring a joint interview with Bush and his brother, Jeb.

November 16, 2010 – Attends the groundbreaking ceremony of George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Southern Methodist University.

September 11, 2011 – Participates in a memorial at Ground Zero to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

May 31, 2012 – Bush’s official White House portrait is unveiled.

April 25, 2013 – Dedication ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. All five living presidents attend.

August 2013 – Undergoes a procedure to treat a blocked artery.

November 11, 2014 – “41: A Portrait of My Father,” a biography written by Bush, is published.

February 28, 2017 – A book of Bush’s paintings, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors” is published.

April 20, 2021 – A book of Bush’s paintings, “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants” is published.

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