John Ellis Bush

John Ellis "Jeb" Bush

43rd Governor of Florida (1999-2007)

 Personal Background:

  • Born February 11, 1953-Midland, TX

    Governor Bush, 2003

  • First Lady Columba Gallo Bush, married 1974, three children


  • Graduated University of Texas, Austin, TX- Phi Beta Kappa

Service to Florida:

Jeb Bush relocated his young family to Miami in the early 1980s, and began his public life as the chairman of the Dade County Republican Party in 1984. He worked hard to help elect Republican Governor Bob Martinez. His bi-lingual abilities and experience in Latin American business affairs were particularly noteworthy, and he was appointed as Secretary of Commerce-a position which he held for 18 months in Tallahassee. With the experience of helping mount two successful national campaigns, including that of his father, President George H.W. Bush in 1988, and Congresswoman Ilena Ros-Lehtinen in 1989, Bush made his own bid for the governorship of Florida in 1994, against incumbent governor Lawton Chiles. It was not until his second bid for that office in 1998 that Jeb Bush became the 43rd Governor of Florida. His tenure extended for two, consecutive terms of office, the first Republican Florida governor to do so since Reconstruction.

Most Notable Contributions as Governor:

The Bush Family, 2000

Prior to his election as governor, Jeb Bush had been an ardent advocate for school accountability, choices for parents, reward system for schools that improve, resources directed towards schools needing improvement, and change when students are not progressing. The Bush-Brogan A+ Plan for Education, which mandated statewide standardized testing in the form of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), was among his boldest initiatives, as was the Governor's Mentoring Initiative. Both Governor and Mrs. Bush regularly mentored young people in the public schools of Tallahassee and encouraged several hundred thousand state-wide volunteers to do the same in their local communities. Given the governor's abiding passion for technology, accessibility and education, he earned the nickname "Florida's e-Governor" by personally answering hundreds of e-mails from citizens each day.

For Additional Information:

  • Foundation for Florida's Future
  • Profiles in Character, by Jeb Bush and Brian Yablonski
  • First Families in Residence: Life at the Florida Governor's Mansion, by Ellen Uguccioni