Jeb Bush is an American politician who served as the Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He is the second son of former President George H. W. Bush and a younger brother of former President George W. Bush. He followed in the footsteps of his father and brother to join the Massachusetts boarding school Phillips Academy, Andover. He excelled in his studies and was also captain of the tennis team. He developed an early interest in public service and went to Mexico to teach English on an exchange program in high school. This trip prompted him to take the decision to major in Latin American Affairs at University of Texas instead of attending the Yale University as many of his family members did. After completing his studies the bright young man started working in the international division of Texas Commerce Bank and soon ventured into a career as an entrepreneur. Over the years he established himself as a successful businessman and also became involved in politics like his father and elder brother. He eventually became the Governor of Florida and gained popularity for initiating environmental improvements and implementing reforms to the state education system. A popular politician, he has announced his candidacy for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Childhood & Early Life
John Ellis "Jeb" Bush was born on February 11, 1953, in Midland, Texas, to George H. W. Bush and Lady Barbara Bush. His father, a prominent politician went on to become the U.S. President one day. He has three brothers and one sister. Former President George W. Bush is his elder brother.
He attended high school at the Andover, Massachusetts boarding school Phillips Academy, Andover, just like his father and brother before him. He excelled in his studies and was also the captain of the tennis team.
Interested in public service from a young age, he went to Mexico as part of Andover's student exchange summer program. He taught English as a second language there.
He went to the University of Texas at Austin, in 1971, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude with a B.A. in Latin American studies after two and a half years.
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In 1974, Jeb Bush took up an entry-level position in the international division of Texas Commerce Bank. He soon became the branch manager and vice president of the bank’s division in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela.
In 1980 he stared working in real estate with Armando Codina, a highly successful businessman. Bush’s career flourished with Codina’s company and before long Codina made Bush his partner in a new development business. This business thrived and made Bush a very wealthy individual.
He moved to Miami because of his business dealings and became involved in many different entrepreneurial pursuits. He became a minority owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, an American professional football franchise based in Jacksonville, Florida, and was involved in a project selling water pumps in Nigeria.
During 1980 he volunteered for his father’s presidential campaign though he would himself join politics only after a few more years. Jeb Bush was made the Chairman of the Dade County Republican Party in the mid-1980s and played a major role in the 1986 election of Bob Martinez to the Governor's office. Martinez then appointed Bush as Florida's Secretary of Commerce.
In 1989, Bush became the campaign manager of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Cuban-American to serve in Congress. Over the ensuing years he made an unsuccessful attempt for the governor’s office in Florida and continued to work with Codina Partners.
Bush ran for Governor of Florida again in 1998, and successfully defeated Democrat Buddy MacKay. He assumed office in January 1999. He proved to be quite popular in this position and easily won the re-election in 2002, becoming Florida's first two-term Republican governor.
As the governor, he initiated environmental improvements, supported caps for medical malpractice litigation, and implemented reforms to the state education system, including the issuance of vouchers and promoting school choice. During his tenure as the governor, his elder brother George Bush became the President of the U.S.
Jeb Bush’s tenure also saw reduction in taxation, and increase in the state reserves from US$1.3 billion to US$9.8 billion. He also helped create the Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship which provides corporations with tax credits for donations to Scholarship Funding Organizations.
He opposed abortion and supported a law requiring parental notification for teen abortions. In 2003, he became involved in the Terri Schiavo case, involving a woman with massive brain damage lying in a vegetative state. Her husband wanted to remove her life support but Bush ordered the doctors to keep Schiavo on life support.
He remained active on the political scenario even after leaving the governor’s office in 2007. In 2015, he announced his candidature for President of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Jeb Bush implemented major reforms during his eight years as governor. He supported the ambitious Everglades conservation plan, the most expensive and comprehensive environmental repair attempt in history. He also launched a Medicaid privatization pilot program and initiated reforms to the state education system.
Jeb Bush is involved with several charitable causes. He once served as co-chair of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and has also worked with The James Madison Institute (JMI), a free market public policy think tank based in Tallahassee, Florida.
In 2000, Bush established the Points of Light program to recognize an "exemplary volunteer, organization, or person". He also serves as the honorary chairman of the Annual AT&T Jeb Bush Florida Golf Classic, a fundraiser that benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Personal Life & Legacy
He met Columba Garnica Gallo in 1970 while he was teaching English in Mexico as part of a foreign exchange program. The couple got married in 1974 and became parents to three children. He also has four grandchildren.
Jeb Bush has an estimated net worth of $22 million.