Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the eldest son of Barbara Bush and 41st President George H. W. Bush, making him the second American president to have been the son of a former president. He is also the brother of Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida.
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. In a close and controversial election, Bush was elected President in 2000 as the Republican candidate, defeating Vice President Al Gore in the Electoral College.
Early on, the Bush administration withdrew from a number of international treaty processes, notably the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. A series of terrorist attacks occurred eight months into Bush's first term as president on September 11, 2001. In response, Bush announced a global War on Terror, which included an invasion of Afghanistan that same year and a 2003 invasion of Iraq. In addition to national security issues, Bush promoted policies on the economy, health care, education, and social security reform. He signed into law broad tax cuts, the PATRIOT Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, and Medicare prescription drug benefits for seniors. His tenure saw national debates on immigration, Social Security, electronic surveillance, and waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques".
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. In 2005, the Bush Administration dealt with widespread criticism over its handling of Hurricane Katrina. Following this and other controversies, as well as dissatisfaction with the direction of the Iraq War, Democrats won control of Congress in the 2006 elections. As the United States entered its longest post � World War II recession in December 2007, the Bush Administration enacted multiple economic programs intended to preserve the country's financial system. Though Bush was popular in the U.S. for much of his first term, his popularity declined sharply during his second term. He was a highly controversial figure internationally, with public protests occurring even during visits to close allies, such as the United Kingdom.
After leaving office, Bush returned to Texas and purchased a home in a suburban area of Dallas. He is currently a public speaker and has written a book about his life entitled Decision Points.