George W. Bush
• George W. Bush was born in Connecticut, the oldest of former president George H.W. and Barbara Bush’s six children.
• The family moved to Texas shortly after George was born, but Bush attended a prestigious high school in Massachusetts as well as Yale University.
• Bush served in the Air National Guard after graduating college, then returned to Texas to work in the oil industry.
• Bush’s early political ventures involved an unsuccessful run for a U.S. House of Representatives seat and helping with his father’s presidential campaign. Once George H.W. Bush won election the younger Bush returned to Texas and was involved in a group that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball team.
• George W. Bush was elected governor of Texas before running for president in 2000, an election clouded by controversy over vote counts in Florida. The decision over whether the election results, which declared Bush the winner, were valid went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
How he defined the office
• President Bush’s Cabinet featured Colin Powell, the first African-American secretary of state, and later Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American woman to serve in that position.
• The aftermath of the 9/11 attacks saw President Bush make a number of executive decisions, from the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, to authorizations allowing the president to use force against those involved in the attacks or in order to prevent future attacks, to the Patriot Act, which allowed for such measures as expanded surveillance and improving U.S. intelligence in order to improve domestic security.
Successes and failures
• On Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, and another plane believed to be headed to the U.S. Capitol or White House crashed in Pennsylvania. After the attack on America the United States sent troops to Afghanistan to attack al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
• The U.S. also went to war with Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. The war centered around the notion that Iraq had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, but President Bush wanted to invade Iraq before rigorous investigations by the United Nations were completed.
• Hurricane Katrina resulted in devastating flooding in New Orleans in 2005. The federal government was accused of negligence in its response to the natural disaster, which killed more than 1,800 and left more than 400,000 homeless.
• “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” — from his address to the nation on the evening of Sept. 11, 2001.