Born November 4, 1946, Laura Welch was raised in Midland, TX. She received a B.S. degree in Education from Southern Methodist University in 1968, then worked as a teacher at elementary schools in Dallas and Houston until 1972. A year later she received a Master's degree in Library Science from the University of Texas at Austin, then worked at a branch of the Houston Public Library until 1974. She returned to Austin and worked as an elementary school librarian until 1977, when one day after her thirty-first birthday she married George W. Bush. Following a difficult pregnancy, she gave birth to fraternal twin daughters Barbara and Jenna in 1981, naming them for their grandmothers. When the girls were seven years old, the family moved to Dallas where she served on many literacy and child safety related boards. When her husband became governor of Texas in 1994, the family moved back to Austin where she continued to work as an advocate for reading and education. When she was relocated to Washington DC after her husband became the President of the United States, she started a number of literacy programs and also worked for breast cancer research.

Little-known facts:

  • At the age of 17, she was involved in a fatal car accident when she drove through a stop sign and struck a car driven by a high school friend, who later died. No charges were brought.
  • She enjoys birdwatching and rafting.
  • A former cigarette addict, she used to sneak Winstons in the backseat of friends' cars.
  • She considered herself a Democrat before marriage.
  • She cleans out her medicine cabinet to relax.
  • Her nickname for her husband is "Bushie."

"Laura Welch Bush: Shy no more" by John Hanchette for USA Today.
Biography of First Lady Laura Bush.