By James Smith and Shane Kelly
On Friday, December 1, one of the nation’s finest, George H.W. Bush, died at the age of 94. He died in his house in Houston, Texas only eight months after the death of his wife. He lived life to the fullest, as he displayed when he celebrated his 90th birthday by parachuting. Most people don’t know how much of an impact Bush had on our country. He was so much more than just a typical president. George H.W. Bush was a war hero, Director of the CIA, congressman, father, husband and much more.
When he turned 18, he enlisted for the armed forces where he became the youngest navy aviator. He flew 58 combat missions during World War II. After getting shot down by a Japanese aircraft in one of his missions, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery. After the war, he decided to focus his time on starting a family. He married Barbara Pierce and had six children including future president George W. Bush. His son aspired to get involved in politics and public service in America just like his father. At the time, George H.W. Bush was Congressman of Connecticut. He ran for Senate and lost twice but then became a Congress Representative for two terms. Even though he failed to earn the title as a Senator, he achieved many other high positions such as Director of the CIA, Ambassador of the UN, Chief Liaison in People’s Office in People’s Republic, and Chairman of Republican National Committee.
Mr. Bush was also part of the lucrative oil industry. Shortly after graduating from Yale University in 1948, Bush later went to work in the oil industry, where he began through working as a salesperson for Dresser Industries, owned by his family’s friend. Later in 1950, Bush along with a friend of his formed their own oil development in Midland, Texas. His company later formed into what would be known as Zapata Petroleum and eventually went on to become very successful in the industry.
There is also, of course, what Bush did as president of the United States. George H.W. Bush was first a vice president for Ronald Reagan after losing in the Republican vote. As a Vice President, Bush did many things domestically such as help with anti-drug programs and Federal deregulation. After being Vice President for 8 years, he decided to re-run for president and won against Michael Dukakis. Bush had many successes in the field of foreign affairs but one of the most prominent was how he handled the invasion of Kuwait. He used his military background to lead a military strike to drive Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi president, out of his country. This is viewed by many as Bush’s greatest presidential accomplishments.
George H.W. Bush’s presence is what makes him different from many. His opponents were always publicly recognized as his foes, but behind closed doors, Bush developed strong bonds with them. One in particular being Bill Clinton. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton ran against each other in the 1992 Presidential Election, but they developed a close partnership, as well as friendship. Although Clinton came out the victor, the two rose above this and decided to raise money for disaster relief and became the honorary chairs of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, a committee who “supports” the common interest of the country. The ability to rise above challenges, overcome adversaries, and develop diplomatic bonds made George H.W. Bush a beloved President. His contributions to our country are plentiful and appreciated, and his passing will affect many.
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