Bush, George W(alker)

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Bush, George W(alker)

biographical name

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George W. Bush.—Eric Draper/White House Photo

(born July 6, 1946, New Haven, Conn., U.S.) Governor of Texas (1995–2000) and 43rd president of the U.S. (2001–09). The eldest child of George Bush, the 41st president of the U.S. (1989–93), George W. Bush attended Yale University and Harvard Business School. After a decade in the oil business, he served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers professional baseball franchise. In 1994 he was elected governor of Texas and won reelection by a landslide in 1998. As the candidate of the Republican Party in the presidential election of 2000, Bush won 500,000 fewer votes than Al Gore but gained the presidency when the U.S. Supreme Court halted a recount of votes in Florida, enabling him to secure a narrow majority in the electoral college (271–266). In response to the September 11 attacks launched by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network in 2001, Bush ordered a military campaign against Afghanistan that deposed the country's Taliban government, which had harboured bin Laden. The U.S. was later accused of mistreating captured Taliban fighters and suspected terrorists at a prison on the U.S. naval base at Gauntánamo Bay, Cuba. In March 2003 Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair led an invasion of Iraq that toppled the government of Saddam Hussein, whom they accused of concealing weapons of mass destruction; no such weapons were found (see Iraq War). In 2002 Congress passed the administration's controversial No Child Left Behind Act, which required regular tests of public school students. In 2004 Bush won reelection in a close contest over Democratic Senator John Kerry. Bush's later proposals to replace Social Security with private retirement savings accounts and to reform immigration laws attracted little support. The Bush administration developed significant foreign-aid programs, particularly for Africa, designed to serve its declared goal of promoting democracy abroad.

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