Laura Lane Welch Bush (born November 4, 1946) is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. She was the First Lady of the United States from January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2009. She has held a love of books and reading since childhood and her life and education have reflected that interest. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in education and soon took a job as a second grade school teacher. After attaining her Master's degree in Library Science at the University of Texas at Austin, she was employed as a librarian. She met George Walker Bush in 1977 and they were married later that year. The couple had twin daughters born to them in 1981.
Bush's political involvement began with her marriage. She campaigned during her husband's unsuccessful 1978 run for the United States Congress and later his successful Texas gubernatorial campaign. As First Lady of Texas, Bush implemented many initiatives focused on health, education, and literacy. In 1999, she aided her husband in campaigning for the presidency of the United States in a number of ways, most notably delivering a keynote address at the 2000 Republican National Convention, which gained her national attention. She became first lady of the United States after her husband defeated Democrat Al Gore in the controversial 2000 election.
Polled by Gallup as one of the most popular first ladies, Laura Bush was involved in topics of both national and global concern during her tenure. She continued to advance her trademark interests of education and literacy by establishing the semi-annual National Book Festival in 2001 and encouraged education on a worldwide scale. She also advanced women's causes through The Heart Truth and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She represented the United States during her foreign trips, which tended to focus on HIV/AIDS and malaria awareness. In May 2010, Bush released her memoir, Spoken from the Heart, in conjunction with a national tour.