By J. Mark Powell

America is saying goodbye to George Herbert Walker Bush.

A generation has passed since he left the Oval Office, providing fresh perspective on the 41st president.

But how much do you really know about the man who served in the nation’s highest office from 1989 to 1993?

Take the quiz below and test your knowledge of the president fondly remembered by many for his “kinder and gentler” administration.

[embedit snippet=”quiz-headers”]

1. Where was Bush born?

George Herbert Walker Bush was born at 173 Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts, on June 12, 1924, to Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy (Walker) Bush. (Miller Center)

2. Bush’s wife, Barbara, not only was the wife of one president and mother of another, but was a presidential descendant as well. Which president was her ancestor?

Her ancestor Thomas Pierce Jr., an early New England colonist, was also an ancestor of Franklin Pierce, 14th president of the United States. She was a fourth cousin, four times removed, of Franklin Pierce and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (Wikipedia)

3. Bush’s warplane was shot down over the Pacific during World War II. How was he rescued?

While flying a torpedo bomber over the Pacific Ocean in 1944 during World War II, Bush’s plane was shot down by Japanese forces, requiring him to bail out and parachute into the ocean. Bush was rescued by a submarine; his two crew mates did not survive. (Washington Post)

4. Which position did Bush hold before the presidency?

Despite being a first-term congressman, Bush was appointed to the powerful United States House Committee on Ways and Means, where he voted to abolish the military draft. He was elected to a second term in 1968. Following his 1970 loss, Bush was well known as a prominent Republican businessman from the "Sun Belt", a group of states in the Southern part of the country. Nixon noticed and appreciated the sacrifice Bush had made of his Congressional position, so he appointed him United States Ambassador to the United Nations. In 1976 Ford brought Bush back to Washington to become Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), replacing William Colby.

5. In 1988, Bush became the first incumbent vice president elected president in 152 years. Which previous vice president pulled off that political feat?

During the 1988 presidential campaign, George H. W. Bush, a Yale University graduate and member of the Skull and Bones secret society, was attempting to become the first incumbent Vice President to win election to the presidency since Van Buren. (Wikipedia)

6. During his time at Yale, Bush excelled at which extracurricular activity?

As Yale's captain, he was the team's representative for the ceremony on the field as an ailing Babe Ruth presented a copy of his biography to the Yale library. The moment was immortalized in a photograph showing the future President and the Hall of Famer near the pitcher's mound at a packed Yale Field. (Yale Bulldogs)

7. Bush had the most children of any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt? How many did he father?

George H.W. Bush has six children: George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, Pauline Robinson Bush, Dorothy Bush Koch, Neil Bush, Marvin Bush. (Google)

8. Bush was dogged all his life by a nickname he hated. What was it?

“George was named after his grandfather, George Herbert Walker. Since George’s mother called Grandfather Walker ‘Pop,’ she began calling her son, his namesake, ‘little Pop,’ or ‘Poppy’ Hence, Poppy Bush is the name the President’s family friends have called him since his youth,” the book says. (George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography)

9. 1992 was the first presidential election where all three major candidates shared something in common. What was it?

In the 1992 election all three main candidates (George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot) were left-handed. (Right Left Right Wrong)

10. While living in Washington during the 1980s, how did Bush maintain his Texas residency?


Answers:  1-C, 2-D , 3-B , 4-D, 5-A, 6-C, 7-B, 8-C, 9-D, 10-C

About the Writer 

J. Mark Powell is a historical novelist and former broadcast journalist. He wrote this for

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

We've got issues, and we're willing to share
(but only if you want them in your inbox).