He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President (1981-1989) under President Ronald Reagan, and been a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence. He served as a U.S. Navy aviator during World War II. He completed his naval aviator training by June 1943, at the age of 19, making him the youngest pilot up to that point.
After W married O in a civil ceremony in Boston, W realized that he needed to take O to meet his father and mother, who were quite straight and conservative. W jokingly suggested that O should wear a burka to the meeting.