Mrs. Laura Bush is actively involved in issues of national and global concern, with a particular emphasis on 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 U.S. and abroad. She draws attention to proven programs that help children avoid risky behaviors and highlights the need for a caring adult role model in every child’s life. The author of the bestselling memoir, Spoken From The Heart, Mrs. Bush also founded both the Texas Book Festival in 1995 and the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. in 2001. In 2006 Mrs. Bush hosted leaders from around the world for the White House Conference on Advancing Global Literacy. Today, as the Chair of the Woman’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, Mrs. Bush continues her work on global healthcare innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform, and supporting the men and women who have served in America’s military. A hiking and camping enthusiast, she has helped start Preserve America, a national initiative to protect our cultural and natural heritage.
Born in Midland, Texas to Jenna and Harold Welch, Laura Bush holds a degree in education and a master’s degree in library science. She taught in public schools in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, and worked as a public school librarian. She was jokingly dubbed “the old maid of Midland” before her 1977 marriage to George W. Bush, “Midland’s most eligible bachelor.” The Bushes are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna.