Called "Comforter-in-Chief" by US magazine, former First Lady Laura Welch Bush (1946-) is a former teacher and librarian who was born on this day in the small town of Midland, Texas, "a place of ice cream sundaes...and Saturday morning pony rides," she said.
An only child, she considered herself a Democrat before marrying George W. in 1977, three months after their first date.
"We have a very sustaining relationship," she explained about her marriage to the man she calls "Bushie." "It’s always been that way, and we’re lucky to have that relationship."
"It's important for Americans to see my husband like I see him," she said.
With a Masters Degree in Library Science, she left the classroom in 1981 to become a full-time mother to her twin daughters. Mrs. Bush has been seen as soft-spoken and self-effacing, shy but solid; her father-in-law described her as "very strong in a quiet kind of way."
As First Lady of Texas, she founded the Texas Book Festival, which celebrates authors and literacy. With the Family Literacy Initiative and Ready to Read programs, she further revealed the world of reading to children and families.
"Only books have the ability to simultaneously shut out the world and open it up," she said.
A childhood love for Nancy Drew mysteries fostered a life-long passion for reading. She continues to be an advocate for learning and literacy. "I miss teaching. I love teaching. And I have the opportunity, because I visit schools all the time, to still read with children and work with children," Mrs. Bush said.
Surround your world with books.