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Laura Bush Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of Laura Bush, wife of former US President George W. Bush.


Birth date: November 4, 1946

Birth place: Midland, Texas

Birth name: Laura Lane Welch

Father: Harold Welch, real estate developer

Mother: Jenna (Hawkins) Welch

Marriage: George W. Bush (November 5, 1977-present)

Children: twins Jenna and Barbara, 1981

Education: Southern Methodist University, B.S., 1968; University of Texas at Austin, M.L.S., 1973

Religion: Methodist

Other Facts

Former librarian and elementary school teacher.

Has served on the boards of various institutions, among them the University of Texas Graduate School of Library and Information Science Advisory Council and the Reading Is Fundamental Advisory Council.


November 1963 Seventeen-year-old Laura runs a stop sign and collides with a car driven by a friend. He is thrown from his car and killed.

1973-1974 Works at the Houston Public Library, Kashmere Gardens Branch.

1974-1977 Works as a librarian at Dawson Elementary School in Austin, Texas.

November 5, 1977 Laura and George W. Bush marry just three months after meeting.

November 8, 1994 George is elected governor of Texas. He is reelected in 1998.

1995-2000 First Lady of Texas.

1995 Establishes the Texas Book Festival, an annual event promoting literacy.

1997 Becomes involved in an early-childhood development initiative, called the Reach Out and Read program, aimed at helping parents and other caregivers to prepare preschool children for formal instruction in reading.

January 20, 2001 Becomes first lady of the United States.

September 8, 2001 With the Library of Congress, launches the first National Book Festival.

November 2001 In a historic first, she records a full presidential radio address, speaking out on the plight of women and children under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

June 4, 2002 Launches the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

September 30, 2003 Visits Russia as part of an education and literacy tour.

February 9, 2006 Is received by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.

November 2006 Has a cancerous tumor removed from her right shin.

August 2007 – The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health is founded as part of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

October 21, 2007 Arrives in the United Arab Emirates to begin a four-day tour around the Middle East to raise breast cancer awareness.

August 2008 In Thailand, meets with refugees from Myanmar. Later attends the Olympic Games in Beijing with the president and former President George H.W. Bush.

September 1, 2008 Speaker at the Republican National Convention.

December 19, 2008 Official portrait is unveiled at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

May 4, 2010 Her autobiography, “Spoken From the Heart,” is published.

May 11, 2010 During an interview on “Larry King Live,” Bush comes out in support of legalizing same-sex marriage and abortion remaining legal.

May 10, 2016 – With daughter Jenna, publishes “Our Great Big Backyard,” a picture book to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

June 17, 2018 – Writes an op-ed criticizing the current zero-tolerance immigration policy being enforced under the administration of President Donald Trump. Bush calls the separation of children from parents entering the United States illegally “cruel” and “immoral.”

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