Five Facts: President George H.W. Bush's Major Life Achievements
On November 30 George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, passed away at his home in Houston, Texas. He was 94 years old. Bush’s death marks the end of a life of extraordinary achievement and impact, from serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II to becoming commander-in-chief decades later. He became the second president to be the father of a president, led the world out of the Cold War, and passed landmark legislation for Americans with disabilities.
Here are five facts on President George H.W. Bush’s major accomplishments:
1. Immediately after graduating from high school Bush was sworn into the Navy, becoming one of the youngest naval aviators at the time. In 1944, Bush’s plane was shot down with anti-aircraft fire, according to Business Insider. While Bush parachuted into the ocean and managed to survive, two of his comrades were killed. This earned Bush a Distinguished Flying Cross, the nation’s oldest military aviation award. He is also the last U.S. president to have served in combat.
2. Before being elected president of the United States Bush served as a member of Congress from Texas, an ambassador to the United Nations, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and vice president for President Ronald Reagan. Together, this is more than 40 years of public service. Bush also was the first sitting vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren's victory more than 150 years earlier.
3. During his tenure as president, which spanned from 1989 to 1993, Bush led the country through a number of world-changing events, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Tiananmen Square massacre. President Bush also led the a coalition of nations through Operation Desert Storm, a military operation to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The entire operation took just 100 hours but was successful in its mission.
4. After leaving office Bush teamed up with his one-time political rival President Bill Clinton to create the Bush-Clinton Fund to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. The fundraising effort raised $110 million, which was distributed to universities, faith-based organizations, and state relief organizations that were having trouble rebuilding following the catastrophic 2005 storm.
5. Bush was a successful politician and an accomplished American, but he still saw his family as among his great achievements. Bush was married to First Lady Barbara Bush; together, they hold the record for longest married presidential couple at 73 years. They had six children and 17 grandchildren. In Bush’s own words, “character matters. Faith matters. Family matters. So do friends.”
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