Early life of George W. Bush

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George W. Bush, the oldest child in a family of six children was born in the city of New Haven, Connecticut, grew up in the Texan cities of Midland and Houston. He studied at Yale University and the Harvard Business School before serving in the Texas Air National Guard. Bush would later be part owner and managing partner of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise, become governor of Texas and eventually become the 43rd President of the United States.


Upbringing and education[edit]

George W. Bush with parents and siblings in the early 1960s. In the front row, from left to right, stand his younger brothers Neil Bush, Marvin Bush, and Jeb Bush. In the back row are his younger sister Doro Bush, himself, his mother Barbara Bush, and father George H. W. Bush)
George W. Bush as a baby with parents.

George Walker Bush, the son of George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Bush, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on July 6, 1946. His paternal ancestors emigrated from Somerset in the West Country of England in the seventeenth century to North America. His family history is also greatly connected with the Salem witch trials with Mary Parker being an 8th great-grandmother and being a descendant or relative of up to 217 trials participants.

Bush was raised in Midland and Houston, Texas, with siblings Jeb, Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy. (A younger sister, Robin, died of leukemia in 1953 at the age of three.) The family enjoyed the summers and most holidays at the Bush Compound in Maine.

The Midland boyhood home of Bush.

Bush attended Sam Houston Elementary School and San Jacinto Junior High School in Midland, Texas. He later moved to The Kinkaid School in Piney Point Village, Texas for two years. Afterward, like his father, Bush attended Phillips Academy (September 1961–June 1964[1][2][3] and later Yale University (September 1964–May 1968). At Yale, he joined Delta Kappa Epsilon, of which he was president from October 1965 until graduation, and the Skull and Bones secret society; Bush's father George H. W. Bush (1948) and grandfather Prescott S. Bush (1917) were also members of Skull and Bones. Bush was also in the Yale First XV rugby union team in 1968.[4] He was a C student, scoring 77% (with no As and one D, in astronomy) with a grade point average of 2.35 out of a possible 4.00. Bush has joked that he was known more for his social life than for his grades.[5] He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1968. The entire entry from his yearbook read:

GEORGE BUSH. Born July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, son of George H.W. Bush (Class of '48) and Barbara Pierce Bush. Prepared at Phillips Academy-Andover, Andover, Massachusetts. Entered Yale, September, 1964. History Major. Resident Member: Davenport (Social Council, 1964-68; Football, 1964-68, Captain, 1967-68; Baseball, 1965-68); Delta Kappa Epsilon, President, 1966-67; Skull and Bones; Inter- Council, 1966-67; Freshman Baseball, 1965; Rugby Club, 1966-68. Roommates: R.J. Dieter, C. Johnson, III, C. Johnson, Jr. Address: Apt. 8, 5000 Longmont Drive, Houston, Texas 77027.

In 1970 Bush applied to the University of Texas School of Law and was rejected.[6] After serving in the Texas Air National Guard, Bush entered Harvard Business School in 1973. He received a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 1975, and is the first U.S. president to hold an MBA.

Rugby[edit]

Bush was a keen rugby union player, during high school and Yale University.[7][8] Bush played at the position of fullback[8] for Yale's 1st XV, and in 1968, he was part of Yale's dramatic win over Harvard.[7][8]

Service in the Air National Guard[edit]

After graduating from Yale University, Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard on May 27, 1968, during the Vietnam War, with a commitment to serve until May 26, 1974. He was promoted to first lieutenant on the November 1970 recommendation of Texas Air National Guard commander Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He served as an F-102 pilot until 1972. Bush was discharged from the Texas Air National Guard and transferred to inactive duty in the Air Force Reserve. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force Reserve on November 21, 1974, at the end of his six-year service obligation.[9]

Alcohol use and DUI arrest[edit]

Bush had described his days before his religious conversion in his 40s as his nomadic period and irresponsible youth. Although Bush states that he was not an alcoholic, he has acknowledged that he was "drinking too much".[10]

On September 4, 1976, Bush was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol near his family's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. He admitted his guilt, was fined US$150, and had his driving license in the state briefly suspended.[11]

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush said that he gave up drinking after waking up with a hangover after his 40th birthday celebration: "I quit drinking in 1986 and haven't had a drop since then." He ascribed the change in part to a 1985 meeting with Reverend Billy Graham, after which he began serious Bible study, as well as to gentle but persistent pressure from his wife, Laura.[12][13][14]

Family life[edit]

Bush and his family
Main article: Bush family

Bush married Laura Welch in 1977. They have fraternal twin daughters, Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, born in 1981.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History and research." George W. Bush Childhood Home.
  2. ^ "George W. Bush: Living the Bush Legacy". CNN. October 29, 2000. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  3. ^ Nicholas D. Kristof (June 10, 2000). "George W. Bush's Journey The Cheerleader: Earning A's in People Skills at Andover". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  4. ^ "Historical Rugby Milestones - 1900s". Rugby Football History. Retrieved July 14, 2006. 
  5. ^ "Self-Deprecating Bush Talks to Yale Grads", FoxNews.com, May 21, 2000.
  6. ^ "Bush Chronology". PBS - Frontline. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  7. ^ a b Cain, Nick & Growden, Greg "Chapter 21: Ten Peculiar Facts about Rugby" in Rugby Union for Dummies (2nd Edition), p297 (pub: John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, England) ISBN 978-0-470-03537-5
  8. ^ a b c Clarke, Wes Famous Ruggers, retrieved 24th August, 2009
  9. ^ Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, Jeff Birnbaum, Charles Krauthammer (July 9, 2004). "The All-Star Panel Discusses John Kerry's Shifting Positions on Iraq War Spending". Fox News Network (transcript). 
  10. ^ Kristof, Nicholas, How Bush Came to Tame His Inner Scamp, The New York Times, July 29, 2000
  11. ^ The Smoking Gun: Archive
  12. ^ The Washington Post. July 30, 1999 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/bushtext072599.htm |url= missing title (help). Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  13. ^ The Washington Post. July 30, 1999 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/bush072599.htm |url= missing title (help). Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Bush acknowledges 1976 DUI charge". CNN. November 3, 2000. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 

External links[edit]