Laura Welch was born in Midland, Texas. She met George W. Bush in 1977 at the home of mutual friends and married him in November of that year. She is a former schoolteacher and librarian. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1968 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Bush earned a Master of Science degree in Library Science in 1973 from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the second First Lady (after Hillary Clinton) to hold the Master of Science degree. As First Lady, she has championed education causes and launched the first National Book Festival. Bush has taken a decidedly less prominent role in policy-making than her predecessor, Clinton. In November 2001, she became the person other than a president to deliver the weekly presidential radio address. She used the opportunity to discuss the plight of women in Afghanistan.
Her husband often endearingly refers to her with the nickname "lump in my bed".
The Bushes have twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, currently in college.