George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States. He served a single term from 1989 to 1993. He was born in Massachusetts in 1924. His father Prescott Bush was a Senator. George joined the Navy on his 18th birthday and became its youngest pilot. He flew 58 combat missions during World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action.
After WWII, Bush worked in the oil industry and became a multi-millionaire. Like his father, George became interested in politics. He served two terms as a Representative to Congress from Texas. Then he was appointed to several high-level positions: Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
In 1980 Bush campaigned for the Republican nomination for President. He lost, but was chosen as a running mate by Ronald Reagan. As Vice President, Bush had responsibility in several domestic areas and visited scores of foreign countries. In 1988 Bush won the general election to become President. He faced a dramatically changing world, as the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
In other areas of foreign policy, President Bush sent American troops into Panama to overthrow the corrupt regime of General Manuel Noriega. His greatest test came when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. He sent 425,000 American troops as part of Operation Desert Storm to defeat Iraq's million-man army. He lost the 1992 election because of a poor economy and rising violence in inner cities.