Laura Welch Bush
- Born: November 4, 1946
- Married: November, 1977
- Children: 2 (Jenna and Barbara)
Laura Bush was born on November 4, 1946, in Midland, Texas, to Harold and Jenna Welch. On November 6, 1963, Laura Welch (age 17) ran a stop sign in Midland while driving a Chevrolet sedan. She struck a Corvair sedan driven by an acquaintance, Michael Dutton Douglas (also age 17), who was killed. She and her passenger, Judy Dykes (also 17) were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. Welch was not charged.
Inspired by her second grade teacher, Laura earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Southern Methodist University in 1968. She then taught in public schools in Dallas and Houston. In 1973 she earned a master of library science degree from the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a public school librarian in Austin. In 1977 she met and married George Walker Bush. They are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, who are named for their grandmothers.
Laura has kept an extremely low-profile for most of her time as First Lady of Texas and later, of America. Early in her husband's administration, she was heard saying that she preferred to keep Roe vs. Wade, setting off a furor among anti-abortion groups. That was an exception to the rule. She has fully retreated from the spotlight for well over 3 years.
Laura has been repeatedly hailed by the media as a kinder, gentler First Lady, a throwback to the days before the likes of Hillary Rodham Clinton came along and spoke her mind, kept her last name, did not always placidly smile in public, and maintained a career separate from her husband. Laura always agrees with her husband and many of her public appearances are fundraisers, ceremonial events, or for White House Christmas TV specials. The right-wing boasted proudly that Laura would not be active in her husband's campaign and that she would simply be his dutiful wife. Yet, strangely enough, as her husband's poll numbers began a steep decline, Laura suddenly began appearing numerous times in print as well as the late night and morning TV talk show circuit, discussing the Federal Marriage Amendment, the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, but most of all, her husband's campaign. In June, 2004 she made perhaps her most controversial appearance, as she (whose own father died of Alzheimer's Disease) criticized former First Lady and recent widow Nancy Reagan's requests for more stem cell research.