Childhood and Education
George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts. He was the son of Prescott S. Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. His family moved to a suburb of New York City where he was raised and where his father was a successful businessman and a senator. His family was very wealthy and had numerous servants including a chauffer. Bush attended private schools including Greenwich Country Day School and the Phillips Academy.
World War II
After graduating from the Phillips Academy, Bush joined the military at the age of eighteen to fight in World War II. He was trained as a naval aviator and stationed in the Pacific. In June 1944, he had a forced water landing in which the navigator was killed and he was picked up by a submarine. In July, he helped sink a cargo ship. In September 1944, he was attacking Japanese installations when his aircraft was hit. He completed his mission and then bailed out of the plane. In the end, three of the four-man crew were killed, and Bush was again rescued by a submarine. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for this. Bush then trained for a new torpedo squadron but when the Japanese surrendered, he was discharged from the military.
Bush enrolled in Yale University at the end of the war. During his time at Yale he was very active — he was president of his fraternity and on the Yale baseball team.
In 1948, Bush graduated with honors with a degree in economics.
George H. W. Bush was a member of the secret Skull and Bones Society at Yale University. The society is limited to fifteen members each year with outgoing Seniors choosing from the juniors. President Taft's father, Alphonso, was one of the original creators of the society. Other well-known members of the society include William Howard Taft, George W. Bush, and John Kerry.