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Laura BUSH

American Laura BUSH

born Laura Lane WELCH

Wife of the forty-third President of the United States, George W. Bush

Born: on November 04, 1946 in Midland, Texas, USA


Biography

Laura Bush was born in Midland, Texas, as the only child of Harold Welch (1912–1995) and Jenna Louise Hawkins Welch (born 1919). Her father was a home builder and later successful real estate developer while her mother worked as the bookkeeper for her father's business. Early on, her parents encouraged her to read, leading to what would become her love of reading. She said, "I learned [how important reading is] at home from my mother. When I was a little girl, my mother would read stories to me. I have loved books and going to the library ever since. In the summer, I liked to spend afternoons reading in the library. I enjoyed the Little House on the Prairie books and Little Women, and many others... Reading gives you enjoyment throughout your life."

She attended James Bowie Elementary School, San Jacinto Junior High School, and Midland Lee High School in Midland. She graduated from Lee in 1964 and went on to attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education.

In 1963, Laura ran a stop sign resulting in a fatal car accident that killed her friend in another car. The driver of the other car was her classmate Michael Dutton Douglas. According to the accident report released by the city of Midland, neither driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and no charges were filed. According to Bush's spokesperson, "It was a very tragic accident that deeply affected the families and was very painful for all involved, including the community at large. To this day, Mrs. Bush remains unable to talk about it."

After graduating from SMU, she began her career as a school teacher of the second grade at Longfellow Elementary School in the Dallas Independent School District. She then taught for three years at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, a Houston Independent School District school in Houston, until 1972.

In 1973, Welch attained a Master of Science degree in Library Science from the University of Texas at Austin. She was soon employed as a librarian at the Kashmere Gardens Branch at the Houston Public Library. The following year, she moved back to Austin and took another job as a librarian in the Austin Independent School District school Dawson Elementary until 1977. She reflected upon her employment experiences to a group of children in 2003, saying, "I worked as a teacher and librarian and I learned how important reading is in school and in life."

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