George H. W. Bush (1924– ) was the forty-first president of the United States, serving from 1989 to 1993. Bush began his political career after World War II. During the war, he flew fifty-eight combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery. At Yale, he excelled in sports and academics. Later he worked in the Texas oil business before being elected as a Republican to the US House of Representatives in 1966. He served as US ambassador to the United Nations in 1971–1972, and headed the CIA in 1976–1977. Bush was elected vice-president to Ronald Reagan in 1980 and reelected in 1984. At the end of Reagan’s presidency, Bush was elected to executive office. As president, Bush focused largely on foreign affairs. In 1990, he signed a mutual nonaggression pact with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. He also pressed for action against Iraq over its invasion of Kuwait, leading to the successful Persian Gulf War. Domestically, however, Bush floundered, and economic recession turned public opinion against him. In 1992, he lost a bid for reelection to Democratic candidate Bill Clinton. Upon leaving office, Bush retired to Texas.  

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