Laura Bush is known for serving as the first lady of the forty-third President of the United States, George W. Bush, from 20001 to 2009. during her husband’s presidency, she advocated literacy, breast cancer awareness and women’s rights in developing countries. Despite polarized views about her husband’s presidency, Laura Bush is one of the most popular first ladies in history, largely due to her smiling, calm demeanor. Laura was born Laura Lane Welch in Midland, Texas on November 4, 1946, to Harold and Jenna Welch. She grew up in an upper-class family that encouraged literacy and learning. A Methodist in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in education and teaching for several years before meeting George in 1977. The couple married that same year and later had twin daughters Jenna and Barbara. George, Laura quickly became an important part of the Bush dynasty, helping her husband win the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election and the 2000 United Nations presidential election.
She was 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.
In addition to her BS in education, Laura earned a MLS in library science from the University of Texas, Austin.
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.
Laura was raised as a Methodist.
On February 9, 2006, she was received by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.
Due to her likable image, and what a contrast she was to outgoing First Lady Hillary Clinton, Bush’s campaign advisors tried to work Laura into as many events as possible during the 2000 presidential campaign. She delivered the keynote speech at the Republican Presidential Convention.
On November 2006 she has a cancerous tumor removed from her right shin.
Laura killed a classmate in a 1963 traffic accident. Although she clearly ran a stop sign and admittedly was at fault, she was never charged with a crime in the case.
George and Laura were married at the same church where Laura was baptized, the First United Methodist Church in Midland.
Before becoming the First Lady of Texas, Laura Bush worked as a grade school teacher and librarian.
She was credited as being influential to his Bush’s decision to stop drinking alcohol.
Laura Bush became an advocate in the fight against breast cancer after her mother was diagnosed with the disease.
As First Lady of Texas, she collaborated with her own mother-in-law’s foundation, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
She developed a close connection with the women of Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks. She claimed that Americans were truly concerned with the plight of women in that country after 9-11 and that most wanted to do something about it.
Laura launched a fundraising event called the Texas Book Festival, and, during the festival’s first four years, it raised around $900,000 for public libraries in Texas.
Not only is Laura Bush’s favorability always high in nearly every poll at around 80%, her unfavorability was never much above 10%.
She also became an honorary ambassador for the United Nations Decade of Literacy.
During her husband’s second term, Laura traveled throughout Africa to raise awareness for AIDS and malaria prevention programs.
In December 2008, she received the Freedom Award from the international human rights organization Christian Freedom International.
After George’s second term was over, he and Laura moved back to Texas. They reside in an upscale neighborhood of Dallas.
Laura Bush keeps a relatively low-profile, although she does at times speak at charity fundraisers.
She campaigned for her brother-in-law Jeb Bush in 2015 in his bid for the presidency, but when he routinely came in last in the polls he dropped out of the race. Laura didn’t support another Republican candidate and didn’t vote for President Trump in the 2016 election.
She established the Texas Book Festival, an annual event promoting literacy.