Laura Bush
First Lady of the United States; librarian
Laura Bush
Laura Lane Welch Bush is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. She was the First Lady from 2001 to 2009. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in education and soon took a job as a second grade teacher. After attaining her Master's degree in Library Science at the University of Texas at Austin, she was employed as a librarian.
Laura Bush's personal information overview.
News abour Laura Bush from around the web
George W. Bush's Daughter Barbara To Headline Planned Parenthood Fundraiser
Huffington Post - 3 days
This story was originally published by The Texas Tribune. Barbara Pierce Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, will headline a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in North Texas on Wednesday.  She will be the keynote speaker at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas’ annual Fort Worth luncheon, helping to raise money for an organization that provides an array of reproductive and sexual health services, including abortions. Bush’s public appearance before the group is striking, given that her father, President George W. Bush, was a staunch abortion opponent during his time as Texas governor and as president.  But it’s not entirely unexpected. Bush’s mother, former First Lady Laura Bush, has expressed support for the legality of abortion on a handful of occasions. The younger Bush, the CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps, called Planned Parenthood an “exceptional organization” in a June New York Times interview, and attended a fundraiser for Democratic preside ...
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The White House Is A Blank Slate As It Awaits Its Next President
Huffington Post - about 1 month
’Twas the night before the inauguration, when all through the White House, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. As the nation prepared for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on Friday, members of the current administration moved out of the White House, leaving the property largely unoccupied Thursday night. The Washington Post’s David Nakamura documented what he described as a “ghostly” quiet around the house. His photos show empty picture frames along the hallways and sparsely filled offices. Just saw Marine leave station outside West Wing meaning @potus has left too. Offices empty, Obama photos off walls. — David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) January 19, 2017 This wall in West Wing used to have Obama photos until earlier today. Oval Office can be seen down hallway. — David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) January 19, 2017 Empty #whitehouse press secretary's office. A ...
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For Eight Glorious Years, Our President Was A Bookworm
Huffington Post - about 2 months
The presidency of Barack Obama has meant many profound things to many Americans. When he quoted Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird during his farewell address on Tuesday night, it was a poignant reminder of just one more: the significance of having a president who loves books.  It was pretty cool to have a president who reads books. #ObamaFarewell — Emma Gray (@emmaladyrose) January 11, 2017 Obama, who authored two books before becoming president, has long described himself as a voracious reader. He’s been dubbed the “reader-in-chief,” using his bully pulpit to promote independent bookstores, the value of leisure reading, and even specific books.  In a 2015 Politico article, he’s quoted as telling young students that he loved “adventure stories” like the “Hardy Boys” series and Treasure Island when he was a kid. As a high schooler, he immersed himself in American classics. While finishing college at Columbia University, he later told his biograp ...
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How Ivanka Trump's Possible White House Role Wouldn't Be Unprecedented
ABC News - 2 months
Although a Trump adviser says it's a "fair assessment" that his daughter, Ivanka, may play an active role in the administration, she wouldn't be the first child of a president to do so. Anita McBride, a former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush and board member of the White House Historical Association, points to several historical examples of first daughters taking on active roles to help their fathers in the White House. “A fair number throughout our history have stepped up to help the president,” McBride said in an interview with ABC News. “It wouldn't be unusual for a first child to step out, but this may be different if she is directly in charge of an initiative,” she added. Though the Trump transition team has yet to announce what role, if any, Ivanka Trump may play in the future administration, she and her husband Jared Kushner have been house-hunting in Washington. And adviser Kellyanne Conway has said it's a "fair assessment" that she will be an active...
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ABC News article
WATCH: What Can the Incoming First Family Expect Inside the White House?
ABC News - 4 months
Anita McBride, who served as chief of staff for former first lady Laura Bush, shares insight into what it's like to move into the White House and what personal touches the first family can make.
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ABC News article
Obama Says New Black History Museum Tells Story Of America
Huffington Post - 5 months
President Barack Obama on Saturday expressed hope that a new national museum showcasing the triumphs and tragedies of the African American experience will help to bring people together as the nation reels from recent racial upheaval. Speaking at a dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Obama said that the story of black America is the story of America. “This national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are,” said Obama. “Hopefully, this museum can help us to talk to each other. And more importantly, listen to each other. And most importantly, see each other. Black and white and Latino and Native American and Asian American - see how our stories are bound together,” he said standing on a stage outside the bronze-colored, latticed museum. The museum, located on the National Mall, officially opened its doors on Saturday. It contains 36,000 items that trace the journey of African Americans from slavery in the ...
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America's Oldest Park Ranger Enjoys Special Treat For 95th Birthday
Huffington Post - 5 months
Happy birthday, Betty Reid Soskin! The nation’s oldest active park ranger celebrated her 95th birthday Thursday with a special day that was quite a whirlwind. Soskin, who works at the Rosie The Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in California, is currently on a 10-day trip to the nation’s capital. She’s been invited to attend the opening ceremony of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Saturday. Soskin, who lived through the Civil Rights era, already enjoyed a preview tour of the museum, which she says brought back memories of her childhood.  Soskin said she’ll be a little starstruck at Saturday’s opening event.  “This ‘lil ole lady ranger will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Laura Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Willie Brown, General Colin Powell, etc., and we may all be wondering just how on earth she ever got on the A-List!!” Soskin wrote on her blog.  The spunky nonagenarian, who only became a park ranger a ...
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The First Lady Effect
Huffington Post - 5 months
By Natalie Gonnella-Platts and Vivian Onano At the age of 19 she became a mother. At 24, she worked as a listings assistant at the Namibian Stock Exchange to help fund her legal studies. She is a founding shareholder and Managing Director of Namibia's first and largest private equity fund, and has served as a member of the former Namibian President's Economic Advisory Council. Among a lengthy list of accolades over her 15 years in business, she is cited as the youngest laureate of the Namibian Business Hall of Fame. Lawyer, businesswomen, parent, innovator, Her Excellency Monica Geingos bears a diverse mix of titles, including First Lady of the Republic of Namibia. She credits her own success to the encouragement and guidance she received in her youth and an enduring tenacity to pursue her aspirations, despite challenges. Understanding that similar support and self-assurance is absent for many fellow Namibians, Mrs. Geingos is using both her podium and her professional ...
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Huffington Post article
Former First Lady Laura Bush releases statement on attack at American University of Afghanistan
Fox News - 6 months
STATEMENT BY MRS. LAURA BUSH ON THE ATTACK AT THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF AFGHANISTAN Dallas, Texas – “My thoughts and prayers are with the students, faculty, and staff of the American University of Afghanistan, and with the families of those injured or lost in the attacks on a peaceful place of learning. “On my first trip to Afghanistan in 2005, I announced the grant that launched the American University of Afghanistan and met with teachers who were being trained. My hope was that girls would be able to obtain a good education and that one day, there would be a female valedictorian of the American University of Afghanistan. When AUAF opened a year later with fifty-three students, only one was female. Today, nearly half of the students enrolled are women, including the 2014 valedictorian, a young woman I’ve come to know whose success represents the remarkable achievements of her peers. Their dreams of progress and peace in Afghanistan will not be stifled by cowards who use violence i ...
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Sahar Speaks
Huffington Post - 8 months
The women of Afghanistan have been the focus of intense interest and notoriety for decades. Under the Taliban they were seen as oppressed creatures swathed head to toe in burqa blue, publicly stoned to death and forced to live in an unspeakably cruel world where they were not to be educated, make noise or even be seen. When a U.S.-led coalition invaded the country at the beginning of the last decade, first lady Laura Bush portrayed the mission as one that would save Afghan women. The global fascination with their plight has created a smorgasbord of sympathy-driven initiatives and activity: billions of dollars and thousands of hours have been spent on female empowerment programs; Afghan women have appeared as heroines in novels and the subject of countless books; magazine covers have featured their tortured faces; and they have been nominated for Nobel Peace Prizes. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used f ...
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Laura Bush, Jenna Bush Hager talk 'Our Great Big Backyard'
Fox News - 10 months
Former first lady daughter open up
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Fox News article
Former First Lady Laura Bush pens the introduction and Former Sec of State Hillary Clinton writes a blurb on the back – this is a book, if you read it, you will never forget it
Fox News - 12 months
From Here are Afghan women in their own words. Words that are by turns inspiring, moving, courageous, and heartbreaking. Their powerful stories create a compelling portrait of the lives, struggles, and successes of this extraordinary nation and its extraordinarily resilient women. With an introduction by Laura Bush, honorary founding co-chair of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council. Afghanistan has been described as “the worst nation in the world to be a woman.” More than fifty percent of girls who are forced into marriage are sixteen or younger. Too many women live in fear and in many areas, education and employment for women are still condemned. The women featured in We Are Afghan Women are fighting to change all that. From rug weavers to domestic violence counselors to business owners, educators, and activists, these courageous women are charting a new path for themselves, their families, their communities, and their nation. Told in their own voices, their stories vividly ...
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Fox News article
"Don't Call Me Cookie": Resolving
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Just last week, the federal government issues their new food guidelines and of course, that got me thinking. January is always the time of year when we resolve (there's that word again) to eat healthily and lose weight, exercise more and so on and so forth. It's also the time of year when I remember Vanessa Pasiadis' book Don't Call Me Cookie. This little book, targeted for the tween audience actually provides some outstanding tips for anyone wanting to revamp their eating habits and follow the new guidelines. Don't Call Me Cookie was originally published several years ago and was way ahead of its time. Vanessa Pasiadis took her own journey to living an "actively active" life and practicing "the not-so-secret" secrets she shares in the book. Cookie anticipated Michelle Obama's efforts as well as the current commercial campaign and partnership between Oprah Winfrey and Weight Watchers. Early on, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio endorsed the book, and Pasiadis ...
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Huffington Post article
A Musical Look At The Women Of The White House As You've Never Seen Them
Huffington Post - over 1 year
American politics can make for epic theater, as evidenced by Broadway's smash hit, "Hamilton." Now, a new Off-Broadway musical is putting a quiet, satirical spin on a less-heralded side of our nation's heritage: the complex, often fraught relationships between first ladies and their daughters. Michael John LaChiusa's "First Daughter Suite," which runs through Nov. 22 at New York's Public Theater, tells the story of the lives of the female inhabitants of the White House, young and old, to a hauntingly operatic score. The daughters of Richard M. Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush are the stars of what LaChiusa describes as a two-act "fantasia" divided into four fanciful, if zany, sung-through vignettes, each with its own unique tone. LaChiusa, 53, wrote "First Daughter Suite" as a sequel of sorts to "First Lady Suite," his 1993 musical that dramatized the lives of Mamie Eisenhower, Eleanor Roosevelt and Jacqueline Kennedy. As with that earlier ...
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Huffington Post article
Why Political Types Still Love Oscar
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Vogue contributing editor Andre Leon Talley was in Washington last night to promote his new book about Oscar de la Renta, a fitting place as the late designer was a first lady favorite, and counted Henry Kissinger among his eclectic circle of friends. A protégé and confidante of de la Renta since 1974, Andre recalled being at his atelier one winter morning doing research for a Vogue story. De la Renta very coyly asked Andre if he wanted to meet "a very nice lady" who also happened to be quietly "working" there that day. "I asked him who it was and he said it was Laura Bush," explained Andre, who declined the invitation, a decision he now regrets. "I was wearing a track suit under a big coat. I didn't want to meet the first lady wearing a track suit," he joked at a reception and book signing in his honor at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art. The discussion was moderated by The Washington Post's Robin Givhan. Laura Bush's affinity for Oscar began at the beginnin ...
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Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Laura Bush
  • 2016
    Age 69
    In February 2016, amid her brother-in-law's campaign trailing Trump in South Carolina polls, Bush traveled there with her husband.
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    Bush was keynote speaker at the Go Red for Women Summit in Austin in February 2016, an event designed to promote both financing and awareness for women fighting heart disease.
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  • 2015
    Age 68
    November, she received the 2015 Prevent Blindness Person of Vision Award.
    More Details Hide Details She is portrayed by Elizabeth Banks in Oliver Stone's film W. Curtis Sittenfeld's bestseller novel American Wife is based on much of Laura Bush's life.
    In October 2015, Bush was conferred an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Wayland Baptist University in recognition of her longtime advocacy on behalf of education, health care and human rights following an address she gave on the university's campus.
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    In May 2015, Bush bestowed a $7,000 grant to six schools within Austin, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details In August 2007, the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health (LWBIWH) was founded at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. This institute aims to integrate research, education and community outreach in a multidisciplinary approach to women's health and has begun efforts to establish a multi-campus women's health institute in Amarillo, El Paso, Lubbock and the Permian Basin. A subsidiary of the center, the Jenna Welch Women's Center, opened in Midland, Texas, on August 10, 2010, to deliver expert medical care to women and their families. Operating in partnership with the Laura Bush Institute, the Jenna Welch Center, named for Bush's mother, strives for excellence in research, education and community outreach. During her tenure as the First Lady, Laura Bush received a number of awards and honors. In October 2002, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity honored her in recognition of her efforts on behalf of education. Also in 2002, she was named Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating Person of the year.
    Throughout 2015, Bush was active in the presidential campaign of brother-in-law Jeb Bush, hosting fundraisers and endorsing him.
    More Details Hide Details This was the most politically involved she had been since leaving the White House seven years prior, supporting her brother-in-law alongside the rest of her family because, in her words, he was "our candidate." In March she affirmed her support for her brother-in-law, calling herself and her husband "huge Jeb supporters." It was reported that she would be assisting the campaign's fundraising in Florida in October, Bloomberg News commenting that Jeb Bush was "calling in help from perhaps the most popular member of his family." According to Clay Johnson, a friend of the Bush family, she was reportedly surprised by Donald Trump's becoming frontrunner over the course of the election cycle.
    In April 2015, Bush reputed Rand Paul's isolationist stance on U.S. foreign aid, calling the view "not really realistic" and asserting the United States should save lives whenever it can.
    More Details Hide Details Bush attended the centennial anniversary of Tioga Road In Yosemite National Park in July. August, she shared the first public photos of her newborn granddaughter Poppy Louise. Later that month, the former First Lady, accompanied by her husband, appeared in New Orleans in order to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In October, she was a featured speaker for Wayland Baptist University.
    In 2015, Bush had several speaking arrangements on issues relating to her husband's presidency.
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    The pair made a joint appearance at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in September 2015, Bush appearing physically while Obama was present through a video call.
    More Details Hide Details Obama spoke of her admiration for Bush, who in turn mentioned their collaborations as "a great example for the world to see that women in different political parties, in the United States, agree on so many issues."
    In March 2015, Bush and Obama were named as co-chairs of the Find Your Park campaign, an attempt to increase national park support and introduce millennials to the park service before its centennial the following year.
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  • 2014
    Age 67
    I gotta say that First Ladies right now don't paid, even though that's a tough job!" In August 2014, Bush and Obama appeared together at the Kennedy Center.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly afterward, Bush told The Washington Post that she believed Obama was ready to leave the White House.
    Nine months later, on April 18, 2014, Bush spoke to The Inquisitr regarding income inequality where she said next regarding Michelle Obama's income: "I want to make sure that when she's working she's getting paid the same as men.
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    On May 9, 2014, she was scheduled to speak at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.
    More Details Hide Details She was to arrive there with her daughter Barbara Pierce Bush, her husband George W. Bush, and Soledad O'Brien, a journalist.
    On April 26, 2014, she gave a speech at the Ericsson Center in Plano, Texas, where she spoke on behalf of the company's mentoring program for girls.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout the month, she made appearances at fundraisers for schools in Colorado.
  • 2013
    Age 66
    In early August 2013, she reported that her husband was in stable condition after having a stent implanted in his heart, calling it "terrific" that it was caught in time, and stressed the importance of regular check ups with doctors.
    More Details Hide Details In September, she appeared at a fundraiser for the organization Solutions for Change.
    That month it was announced that she would serve as a keynote speaker for the 2013 Global Business Travel Association Convention in August.
    More Details Hide Details At the convention, she stressed the importance of child literacy, continuing her advocating of an issue that she had become associated with since her tenure as First Lady.
    In April 2013, Bush was in attendance at a news conference, where she said the recently built George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum was not a monument for her husband but instead a representation of the White House and the struggles of America during his tenure.
    More Details Hide Details She also mentioned not having trouble donating clothes to the library, admitting that she probably would have never worn them again in the first place.
    Bush continued to remain involved and concerned over the state of women in Afghanistan, speaking out editorials and appearances during 2013 that the women and girls who had been helped could not be abandoned during and after the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
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    On February 22, 2013, without her consent, she was included in a pro-gay advertisement from the Respect of Marriage Coalition.
    More Details Hide Details A statement from Bush's spokesperson states that Bush "did not approve of her inclusion in this advertisement nor is she associated with the group that made the ad in any way. When she became aware of the advertisement last night, we requested that the group remove her from it."
  • 2012
    Age 65
    In 2012, Bush—along with Hector Ruiz, Charles Matthews, Melinda Perrin, Julius Glickman and Admiral William H. McRaven, the Navy Seal who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden—was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin.
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    In the later months of 2012, Bush campaigned for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, hosting a fundraiser in September with Ann Romney and appearing in Livonia, Michigan the following month for a Romney campaign event.
    More Details Hide Details Michigan spokeswoman for the Romney campaign Kelsey Knight said having Mrs. Bush there would "just fuel the fire and the momentum we are seeing". She also campaigned for vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, telling a crowd in Detroit that he and Romney had "better answers" on the economy and foreign policy.
    On July 25, 2012 she spoke at the Luisa Hunnewell's estate where she praised Edith Wharton's works, in particular Ethan Frome on her 150th anniversary.
    More Details Hide Details She also said that prior to this speech she also visited houses of Mark Twain at his 166th anniversary on November 29, 2001 and was a guest of the show Mark Twain Tonight. Ten years prior to the Luisa Hunnewell's estate visit she also visited Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts at which she met with the National Trust for Historic Preservation's President and listened to Concord-Carlisle High School's chorus.
    After the 2012 election, where Romney lost to President Obama, Bush was asked in March 2013 during an interview whether the GOP's positions on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion led to more than half of female voters voting for the President.
    More Details Hide Details Bush responded that some of the candidates had "frightened some candidates", but at the same time expressed her liking of the Republican Party having room for difference of opinion and that within the party, "we have room for all".
  • 2010
    Age 63
    The following year, in September 2010, Bush and Obama commemorated the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks by leading a ceremony from a mountaintop to national memorial park.
    More Details Hide Details The two both acted as keynote speakers and met with the families of the 40 victims of United Airlines Flight 93 plane crash. In their remarks, the two sang each other praises, Obama thanking Bush for her handling of the aftermath of September 11 attacks while Bush called her a "first lady who serves this country with such grace." In July 2013, Bush and Obama appeared together in Africa at the First Ladies Summit. Their husbands were also present, leading White House staffer Ben Rhodes to refer to the joint appearance as proof of the support for Africa in the United States regardless of political party. In their remarks, both Bush and Obama stressed the importance of being role models.
    On May 11, 2010, during an interview on Larry King Live, Bush was asked about same-sex marriage.
    More Details Hide Details She said she views it as a generational issue and said she believes it will be made legal in the future. Bush offered support for the issue by saying, " when couples are committed to each other and love each other they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has." Bush referred to her 2000 interview, reaffirming her support for Roe v. Wade, "I think it's important that abortion remain legal. Because I think it's important for people – that for medical reasons and, and other reasons."
    In May 2010, Bush released her memoir, Spoken from the Heart, in conjunction with a national tour.
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  • 2009
    Age 62
    In September 2009, Bush openly praised President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
    More Details Hide Details She reasoned that President Obama was performing well in the presidency despite having multiple initiatives taking place and complimented the First Lady's transformation of the White House into "a comfortable home for her family."
    In April 2009, three months after the Bushes left office, Martha Gore wrote an op-ed piece titled, "Laura Bush: A First Lady who made America proud," where she positively assessed Bush's role as First Lady and expressed Bush's successes were rooted in the dignity she brought to the office despite her reserved style as well as her making a good role model for young women and representing American womanhood at its finest.
    More Details Hide Details Gore concluded, "Now that Ms. Bush has returned to private life, she will continue to be remembered as a First Lady who did America proud." A 2014 poll which asked who was the most popular First Lady in the past 25 years found Bush ranked in fourth place, behind Hillary Clinton, mother-in-law Barbara and direct successor Michelle Obama.
    In November 2009, the former First Lady, accompanied by her husband, made a visit to families of veterans in Fort Hood.
    More Details Hide Details The couple expressed their wishes that the trip not be publicized. However, Fox News revealed the trip the following morning.
    In February 2009, the month after she and her husband left office, Laura and George W. Bush moved into a new residence in Dallas.
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  • 2008
    Age 61
    Bush defended Obama during her husband's campaign for president in 2008, publicly coming to her defense when she received criticism for a remark she made about being proud of her country for the first time in her adulthood during the campaign.
    More Details Hide Details Obama sent Bush a note thanking her and after the election met with Bush at the White House in November 2008, Bush giving Obama a tour of her and her family's soon-to-be home.
    In late October 2008, days before that year's Presidential election, Bush hosted a three-hour session with staffers and historians discussing how she would like to be remembered, leading to this meeting being termed the "legacy lunch."
    More Details Hide Details According to historian Myra Gutin, this was the first time in history that a First Lady had ever directly reached out to historians to talk about her accomplishments. Attendants of the meeting said that Bush wanted to change the perception that she was a traditional First Lady in that she always stayed by her husband's side. Bush's chief of staff Anita McBride called this characterization of Bush "unfair" and though conceding that she was traditional, McBride noted Bush broke from tradition in addressing issues that were not customary.
  • 2006
    Age 59
    Bush was a participant in the 2006 midterm elections, beginning her campaigning in April.
    More Details Hide Details Though her poll numbers had decreased from an 80% approval rating, they still superseded that of President Bush, whose approval rating was only praised by a third of Americans. Ed Henry of CNN noted Bush's popularity, writing, "The first lady is treated like a rock star on the campaign trail -- with local Republicans lining up for photographs and autographs -- as she criss-crosses the country to help candidates." Bush relied on a strategy of praising the Republican candidate for their achievements and attending events alongside them. In September 2008, Bush appeared and spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention, where she introduced her husband.
    Bush responded to a question during a 2006 interview concerning the Federal Marriage Amendment by calling for elected leaders not to politicize same-sex marriage, "I don't think it should be used as a campaign tool, obviously.
    More Details Hide Details It requires a lot of sensitivity to just talk about the issue... a lot of sensitivity." On July 12, 2005, while in South Africa, Bush suggested her husband replace retiring Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor with another woman. On October 2, during a private dinner at the White House with his wife, President Bush nominated Harriet Miers to replace O'Connor. Later that month, after Miers had faced intense criticism, Laura Bush questioned whether the charges were sexist in nature.
    She disagreed with Fox News' Chris Wallace in 2006 when Wallace asked why the American people were beginning to lose confidence in President Bush, saying, "Well, I don't think they are.
    More Details Hide Details And I don't really believe those polls. I travel around the country, I see people, I see their response to my husband, I see their response to me. There are a lot of difficult challenges right now in the United States... All of those decisions that the President has to make surrounding each one of these very difficult challenges are hard. They're hard decisions to make. And of course some people are unhappy about what some of those decisions are. But I think people know that he is doing what he thinks is right for the United States, that he's doing what he – especially in the war on terror, what he thinks he is obligated to do for the people in the United States, and that is to protect them... When his polls were really high they weren't on the front page."
    Laura Bush's approval ratings have consistently ranked very high. In January 2006, a USA Today/CBS/Gallup poll recorded her approval rating at 82 percent and disapproval at 13 percent.
    More Details Hide Details That places Bush as one of the most popular first ladies. Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said, "She is more popular, and more welcome, in many parts of the country than the president... In races where the moderates are in the most trouble, Laura Bush is the one who can do the most good." Sady Doyle reasoned that Bush was hard to dislike due to her adopting "the least partisan causes" such as literacy and breast cancer, which would attract the support of most Americans and her coming off as a "mild, polite, ordinary woman who might go to church with your mother, or organize suburban potlucks." Doyle furthered that her statements were never enough to offend others and the harshest criticism that could be bestowed upon her was that she was boring.
  • 2004
    Age 57
    While campaigning for her husband's re-election in 2004, she cited the campaign as their last, though this would later be disputed when she campaigned for Republicans across the country in the 2006 midterm elections.
    More Details Hide Details She was credited with having raised $15 million for his campaign as well as the Republican Party while still succeeding in keeping a separate schedule that allowed for her to tend to the traditional duties she had as First Lady.
  • 2003
    Age 56
    In October 18, 2003, she was conferred by the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the Order of Gabriela Silang, a single-class order which makes her the first U.S. First Lady recipient during the state visit of President George Bush to the Philippines.
    More Details Hide Details She received an award in honor of her dedication to help improve the living conditions and education of children around the world, from the Kuwait-American Foundation in March 2006. She accepted The Nichols-Chancellor's Medal on behalf of disaster relief workers around the world in May 2006 from Vanderbilt University. Four learning facilities have been named for her: the Laura Welch Bush Elementary School in Houston, Texas, the Laura W. Bush Elementary School in the Leander ISD just outside Austin, Texas, and the Laura Bush Education Center at Camp Bondsteel, a U.S. military base in Kosovo and the Laura Bush Middle School in Lubbock, Texas. She was awarded the 2008 Christian Freedom International Freedom Award. Bush is on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service.
    Bush first became involved with The Heart Truth awareness campaign in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details It is an organization established by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to raise awareness about heart disease in women, and how to prevent the condition. She serves in the honorary position of ambassador for the program leading the federal government's effort to give women a "wake up call" about the risk of heart disease. She commented on the disease: "Like many women, I assumed heart disease was a man's disease and cancer was what we would fear the most. Yet heart disease kills more women in our country than all forms of cancer combined. When it comes to heart disease, education, prevention, and even a little red dress can save lives." She has undertaken a signature personal element of traveling around the country and talking to women at hospital and community events featuring the experiences of women who live, or had lived, with the condition. This outreach was credited with saving the life of one woman who went to the hospital after experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.
  • 2002
    Age 55
    Bush campaigned for Republicans around the country in 2002 for that year's midterm elections, attending and hosting fundraisers as well as giving speeches that were deemed as the Bush administration "working against women's rights issues and using women to do their dirty work" and partly a test for Bush on how well she could campaign for her husband in the impending two years when he sought re-election.
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    In May 2002, she made a speech to the people of Afghanistan through Radio Liberty.
    More Details Hide Details In March 2005, she made the first of three trips to that country as First Lady.
  • 2001
    Age 54
    In November 2001, she became the first person other than a president to deliver the weekly presidential radio address.
    More Details Hide Details She used the opportunity to discuss the plight of women in Afghanistan leading up to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, saying, "The brutal oppression of women is a central goal of the terrorists." Her husband was originally to give the address but he felt that she should do it; she later recalled, "At that moment, it was not that I found my voice. Instead, it was as if my voice found me." Her words summarized one of the goals and moral rationales of the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and it became one of the more famous speeches of his administration.
    On September 11, 2001, Bush hosted her father and mother-in-law George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush and was intended to give a testimony to Congress on education.
    More Details Hide Details Instead, during the September 11 attacks, Bush was taken to inside the White House and placed in an underground bunker, later being met by her husband, who had returned to Washington from Florida. Two weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Bush inaugurated a music concert at the Kennedy Center, organized to fundraise for families of the victims. Though she received applause, she returned the compliment to members of the audience and added that although the event was tragic, Americans had deepened their appreciation "of life itself, how fragile it can be, what a gift it is and how much we need each other." Senator Ted Kennedy, who introduced Bush at the event, praised her and said he knew his deceased sibling, the late President John F. Kennedy, would also be proud of her. Bush believes the September 11 attacks ignited the interest in the way Afghanistan women were treated, who were not allowed to leave their homes and of which composed a high number of widows due to terrorist attacks in Afghanistan prior to the attacks.
    Immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Bush spoke regarding America's children:
    More Details Hide Details We need to reassure our children that they are safe in their homes and schools. We need to reassure them that many people love them and care for them, and that while there are some bad people in the world, there are many more good people. The following day, she composed open letters to America's families, focusing on elementary and middle school students, which she distributed through state education officials. She took an interest in mitigating the emotional effects of the attacks on children, particularly the disturbing images repeatedly replayed on television. On the one-year anniversary, she encouraged parents to instead read to their children, and perhaps light a candle in memoriam, saying, "Don't let your children see the images, especially on September 11, when you know it'll probably be on television again and again – the plane hitting the building or the buildings falling."
    In 2001, to promote reading and education, she partnered with the Library of Congress to launch the annual National Book Festival.
    More Details Hide Details In January 2002, Bush testified before the Senate Committee on Education, asking for higher teachers' salaries and better training for Head Start programs. She is also credited with creating a national initiative called "Ready to Read, Ready to Learn", which promotes reading at a young age. To promote American patriotic heritage in schools, she helped launch the National Anthem Project. In 2006, Bush and media executives worked together to provide a $500,000 grant for school libraries along the Gulf Coast which had been devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
  • 2000
    Age 53
    In December 2000, her husband resigned as Governor of Texas to prepare for his inauguration as President of the United States in January 2001.
    More Details Hide Details As First Lady, Bush was involved in issues of concern to children and women, both nationally and internationally. Her major initiatives included education and women's health. Early into the administration, Bush made it known that she would focus much of her attention on education. This included recruiting highly qualified teachers to ensure that young children would be taught well. She also focused on early child development.
    In July, she delivered a keynote address to the delegates at the 2000 Republican National Convention, which put her on the national stage.
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    She became First Lady after her husband defeated Democrat Al Gore in the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election.
    More Details Hide Details Polled by The Gallup Organization as one of the most popular First Ladies, Bush was involved in national and global concerns during her tenure. She continued to advance her trademark interests of education and literacy by establishing the semi-annual National Book Festival in 2001, and encouraged education on a worldwide scale. She also advanced women's causes through The Heart Truth and Susan G. Komen for the Cure organizations. She represented the United States during her foreign trips, which tended to focus on HIV/AIDS and malaria awareness. Bush's memoir, Spoken from the Heart, was published in 2010. Laura Lane Welch was born on November 4, 1946 in Midland, Texas, the only child of Harold Welch (1912–1995) and Jenna Louise Hawkins Welch (born 1919). Bush is of English, French, and Swiss ancestry. Her father was a home builder and later successful real estate developer, while her mother worked as the bookkeeper for her father's business. Early on, her parents encouraged her to read, leading to what would become her love of reading. She said, "I learned important reading is at home from my mother. When I was a little girl, my mother would read stories to me. I have loved books and going to the library ever since. In the summer, I liked to spend afternoons reading in the library. I enjoyed the Little House on the Prairie and Little Women books, and many others...
  • 1999
    Age 52
    Her husband announced his campaign for President of the United States in mid-1999, something that she agreed to.
    More Details Hide Details She did say, however, that she had never dreamed that he would run for office. The Bush campaign worked to assure voters that as First Lady, she would not seek to emulate then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. When asked who she would be like out of the past First Ladies, she insisted it would be herself.
    As First Lady of Texas, Bush implemented many initiatives focused on health, education, and literacy. In 1999-2000, she aided her husband in campaigning for the presidency in a number of ways, most notably delivering a keynote address at the 2000 Republican National Convention, which gained her national attention.
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  • 1995
    Age 48
    Bush became the First Lady of Texas when her husband was elected as the Governor of Texas and served as first lady of that state from January 17, 1995, to December 21, 2000.
    More Details Hide Details When asked about her interest in politics, she responded, "It doesn't drive me." Though during her years in the Governor's Mansion, she did not hold a single formal event, Laura worked for women's and children's causes including health, education, and literacy. She implemented four major initiatives: Take Time For Kids, an awareness campaign to educate parents and caregivers on parenting; family literacy, through cooperation with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, she urged Texas communities to establish family literacy programs; Reach Out and Read, a pediatric reading program; and Ready to Read, an early childhood educational program. She raised money for public libraries through her establishment of the Texas Book Festival, and established the First Lady's Family Literacy Initiative, which encouraged families to read together. Bush further established "Rainbow Rooms" across the state, in an effort to provide emergency services for neglected or abused children. Through this, she promoted the Adopt-a-Caseworker Program to provide support for Child Protective Services. She used her position to advocate Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer awareness as well.
  • 1993
    Age 46
    Bush traveled to Kuwait in April 1993, accompanying her father-in-law and mother-in-law as well as brothers-in-law Jeb and Marvin Bush after former President Bush was invited to return to the Middle East for the first time since his presidency.
    More Details Hide Details Several times a year, Bush and her husband travel to their sprawling family estate, the Bush compound, better known as Walker's Point. Located in Kennebunkport, Maine, the compound is where Bush family gatherings have been held for nearly 100 years.
  • 1986
    Age 39
    George W. Bush credited his wife with his decision to stop drinking in 1986.
    More Details Hide Details She reflected that she thought her husband "was drinking too much" amid her knowing it was not his desired way of living. Approaching him, she related that her father had been alcoholic and it was not a pattern she wished to repeat in their family. She is also credited with having a stabilizing effect on his private life. According to People magazine reporter Jane Simms Podesta, "She is the steel in his back. She is a civilizing influence on him. I think she built him, in many ways, into the person he is today."
  • 1981
    Age 34
    The Bushes had tried to conceive for three years, but pregnancy did not happen easily. On November 25, 1981, Laura Bush gave birth to fraternal twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna.
    More Details Hide Details The twins were born five weeks early by an emergency Caesarean section, as Laura had developed life-threatening pre-eclampsia (toxemia). The twins graduated from high school in 2000 and attended Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin, respectively, in 2004. To date, Bush is the only First Lady to have given birth to twins.
    Bush attended the inauguration of father-in-law George H. W. Bush as Vice President in January 1981, after he and his running mate Ronald Reagan won the 1980 presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details She attributed her father-in-law's electing to the vice presidency with giving her and her husband national exposure.
  • 1978
    Age 31
    She soon relented, and gave her first stump speech for him in 1978 on the courthouse steps in Muleshoe, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details After narrowly winning the primary, he lost the general election.
    The year after their marriage, the couple began campaigning for George W. Bush's 1978 Congressional candidacy.
    More Details Hide Details According to George Bush, when he asked her to marry him, she had said, "Yes. But only if you promise me that I'll never have to make a campaign speech."
  • 1977
    Age 30
    She met George W. Bush in July 1977 when mutual friends Joe and Jan O'Neill invited her and Bush to a backyard barbecue at their home.
    More Details Hide Details He proposed to her at the end of September and they were married on November 5 of that year at the First United Methodist Church in Midland, the same church in which she had been baptized. Laura bought a tan, two-toned dress off the rack for the wedding. The couple honeymooned in Cozumel, Mexico. George W. Bush detailed his choice to marry Laura as the "best decision of my life." Laura, an only child, said she gained "brothers and sisters and wonderful in-laws" who all accepted her after she wed George W. Bush.
    The following year, she moved back to Austin and took another job as a librarian in the Austin Independent School District school Dawson Elementary until 1977.
    More Details Hide Details She reflected on her employment experiences to a group of children in 2003, saying, "I worked as a teacher and librarian and I learned how important reading is in school and in life."
    Bush met her future husband, George W. Bush, in 1977, and they were married later that year.
    More Details Hide Details The couple had twin daughters in 1981. Bush's political involvement began during her marriage. She campaigned with her husband during his unsuccessful 1978 run for the United States Congress, and later for his successful Texas gubernatorial campaign.
  • 1973
    Age 26
    In 1973, Bush attained a Master of Science degree in Library Science from the University of Texas at Austin.
    More Details Hide Details She was soon employed as a librarian at the Kashmere Gardens Branch at the Houston Public Library.
  • 1972
    Age 25
    After graduating from SMU, she began her career as a second grade school teacher at Longfellow Elementary School in the Dallas Independent School District. She then taught for three years at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, a Houston Independent School District school in Houston, until 1972.
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  • 1968
    Age 21
    She graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.
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  • 1964
    Age 17
    She attended James Bowie Elementary School, San Jacinto Junior High School, and Robert E. Lee High School in Midland. She graduated from Lee in 1964 and went on to attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.
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  • 1946
    Born on November 4, 1946.
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