One of the most beloved and admired American First Ladies, for decades Laura Bush has championed key issues in the fields of education, health care, and human rights. She has traveled to more than seventy-six countries, including two historic solo trips to Afghanistan, and has launched groundbreaking education and healthcare programs in the United States and abroad. The author of the bestselling memoir, Spoken From The Heart, and co-author of children’s book, Our Great Big Backyard, Mrs. Bush also founded both the Texas Book Festival and the National Book Festival in Washington D.C.
Today Mrs. Bush pursues her work on global healthcare innovations, education reform, women’s and girls’ empowerment, and human rights through the George W. Bush Institute and Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, an independent affiliate of the Bush Institute. She serves as the Chair for the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative, guiding programs to advance economic opportunity, good health, and education. These include efforts to support First Ladies from around the world to effectively use their unique platforms to improve lives, developing women leaders in the Middle East and North Africa, raising awareness of Afghan women’s progress and plight, and promoting the value of global partnership to fight women’s cancers.
Born in Midland, Texas to Jenna and Harold Welch, Laura Bush holds a degree in education from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Texas. She taught in public schools in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, and worked as a public school librarian. In 1977, she married George W. Bush. President and Mrs. Bush are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, son-in-law, Henry Hager, and proud grandparents of granddaughters Margaret Laura “Mila” and Poppy Louise Hager.