George Walker Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Conn., and is the oldest son of former President George Bush Sr. .
After graduating from Yale with a history degree in 1968, George W. joined the Texas Air National Guard which some believe it was to avoid military service in Vietnam. .
Bush entered Harvard Business School in 1973, and after graduating with an MBA (1975) he returned to Texas, where he established his own oil and gas business in the late 1970s. In 1977 he met and married his wife, Laura Welch, a librarian. In 1981 George and Laura gave birth to their twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara. .
George Bush comes from a very political family, beginning with his grandfather Prescott Bush who had been a Senator from Connecticut and his great-grandfather a U.S. Congressman and political appointee. George W. had been immersed in politics since childhood, and by 1977 he had worked on several political campaigns, including three of his father's. In that year Bush finally entered politics himself, running for U.S. Congress from the West Texas district that included his hometown of Midland. He ultimately lost in the general election to Democrat Kent Hance.
Following his defeat, Bush returned to the oil business, eventually merging his company with another oil company, Spectrum 7, and becoming its CEO. Bush never hit it big as an oilman the way his father had. In 1985 oil prices fell sharply, and the company was on the verge collapse until it was acquired by a Dallas firm. It was a lucky break for Bush, who wound up with a seat on the board and $300,000 in company stock.
The year 1986 was a turning point for Bush, both personally and professionally. Although he had never been considered an alcoholic, Bush did have a history of drinking too much, and shortly after his fortieth birthday in July1986 he gave up alcohol for good. Perhaps most importantly, though, he returned to politics. Then he headed to Washington to become a paid adviser to his father's 1988 presidential campaign.