George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) was the 36th President of the United States, from 1981 to 1989. Prior to serving as President, he was the Governor of Connecticut from 1971-1979, a US Representative and worked in various posts in the Rockefeller administration, including Deputy Ambassador to Germany. He is the son of former Connecticut Senator Prescott S. Bush.
Bush, seen as a political moderate and technocratic executive instead of an ideologue within the Democratic party, won the 1980 Democratic nomination over third-time candidate Ronald Reagan, his future Vice President Bob Dole and Daniel Evans. In a hard-fought campaign centered around a poor economy, Bush defeated President Henry M. Jackson, becoming the first Democrat to defeat a sitting Socialist since the rise of the SP in the 1910s and 1920s. Bush enacted a neoliberal agenda, privatising many state industries or breaking them up into smaller, state-run entities. While initially unpopular and after seeing his Democrats lose power in both Houses of Congress in 1982, Bush raised taxes and cut certain spending programs to reduce the deficit and stared down a strike by the coal-miner's union in 1983. He was reelected in a landslide in 1984, winning every state's electoral votes save Minnesota, the home of his opponent, former Vice President Walter Mondale.
Bush's second term was marked by an economic boom powered by New York's financial industry and a renaissance in American industrial output in the high-tech fields, though Bush's support for free trade with the Confederacy and Mexico helped lead to Socialist gains in the 1986 midterms. On the international field, he was part of the German push to normalize Cold War relations and became the first President to visit Canada since the 1950s. He also led the push for improved relations with the Confederacy, which had long been strained, and visited Richmond for the first time in his Presidency in 1987 to meet with President Jimmy Carter.
Bush was term-limited in 1988, and left office in 1989 succeeded by his Vice President, Bob Dole. In 1993, he opened his Presidential Library on the grounds of his alma mater, Yale, in New Haven, CT. In retirement, Bush has become a highly-sought public speaker and resides at his family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.