George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and businessman who was the 43rd President of the United States of America from 2001 to 2009 and the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. The eldest son of Barbara and George H. W. Bush, he was born in New Haven, Connecticut. After graduating from Yale University in 1968 and Harvard Business School in 1975, Bush worked in oil businesses. He married Laura Welch in 1977 and ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives shortly thereafter. He later co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team before defeating Ann Richards in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. Bush was elected president in 2000 after a close and controversial election, becoming the fourth president to be elected while receiving fewer popular votes nationwide than his opponent. Bush is the second president to have been the son of a former president, the first being John Quincy Adams. He is also the brother of Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida.
Eight months into Bush's first term as president, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks occurred. In response, Bush announced the War on Terror, an international military campaign which included the war in Afghanistan launched in 2001 and the war in Iraq launched in 2003. In addition to national security issues, Bush also promoted policies on the economy, health care, education, social security reform, and amending the Constitution to disallow same-sex marriage. He signed into law broad tax cuts, the PATRIOT Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, Medicare prescription drug benefits for seniors, and funding for the AIDS relief program known as PEPFAR. His tenure saw national debates on immigration, Social Security, electronic surveillance, and enhanced interrogation techniques. He announced the U.S. would not implement the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, which had been signed by the previous administration but never ratified by the Senate.
Bush successfully ran for re-election against Democratic Senator John Kerry in 2004, in another relatively close election. After his re-election, Bush received increasingly heated criticism from across the political spectrum for his handling of the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, and numerous other controversies. As a result, the Democratic Party won control of Congress in the 2006 elections. In December 2007, the United States entered its longest post–World War II recession, often referred to as the "Great Recession", prompting the Bush Administration to enact multiple economic programs intended to preserve the country's financial system. Nationally, Bush was both one of the most popular and unpopular presidents in history, having received the highest recorded presidential approval ratings in the wake of 9/11, as well as one of the lowest approval ratings during the 2008 financial crisis. Internationally, he was a highly controversial figure, with public protests occurring even during visits to close allies, such as the United Kingdom.
Bush left office in 2009, and was succeeded as president by Barack Obama, who ran on a platform of change from Bush's policies. Since leaving office, Bush has returned to Texas and purchased a home in a suburban area of Dallas. He is currently a public speaker, has written a book about his life entitled Decision Points, and his presidential library opened in 2013. Although his presidency has been ranked among the worst in recent surveys of presidential scholars, his favorability ratings among the public have improved since he left office