Bush, Laura (1946–)

views updated

Bush, Laura (1946–)

American first lady. Born Laura Welch, Nov 4, 1946, in Midland, Texas; only child of Harold Bush (home builder) and Jenna Bush (bookkeeper); Southern Methodist University, BS, 1968; University of Texas at Austin, MA, 1973; m. George W. Bush (president of US), 1977; children: (twins) Jenna and Barbara Bush.

Quiet, reserved and highly respected first lady, whose special interest is education, taught in the public schools of Dallas and Houston; earned MA in library science (1973), then served as a public school librarian in Austin; quit working after marriage; after some difficulty, conceived twins Jenna and Barbara, named after their grandmothers; convinced husband to give up drinking after his habit became problematic for family (mid-1980s); was forced into public eye when husband became governor of Texas (1995); maintained interest in reading and education, kicking off Texas Book Festival to raise money for libraries, and took up literacy and breast cancer awareness as causes; at first was adamant about not getting involved in husband's political campaigns but eventually went on the stump, especially after he entered the White House; played an active role in husband's successful bids for presidency (2000 and 2004), giving 1st major speech at 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia; called attention to the oppression of women and children under the Taliban.

See also Ann Gerhart, The Perfect Wife: The Life and Choices of Laura Bush (Simon & Schuster, 2004).

About this article

Bush, Laura (1946–)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article