Laura Bush Fast Facts

Former First Lady of the United States Laura Bush visits FOX's "America's Newsroom" at FOX Studios on September 24, 2014 in New York City.

(CNN)Here is a look at the life of Laura Bush, wife of former US President George W. Bush.

Personal:
Birth date: November 4, 1946
Birth place: Midland, Texas
Birth name: Laura Lane Welch
Father: Harold Welch, real-estate developer
    Mother: Jenna (Hawkins) Welch
    Marriage: George W. Bush (November 5, 1977 - present)
    Children: Jenna and Barbara, November 25, 1981
    Education: Southern Methodist University, B.S., 1968; University of Texas at Austin, M.L.S., 1973
    Religion: Methodist
    Other Facts:
    Former librarian and elementary school teacher.
    Has served on the boards of various institutions, among them the University of Texas Graduate School of Library and Information Science Advisory Council and the Reading Is Fundamental Advisory Council.
    Timeline:
    November 1963 - Seventeen-year-old Laura runs a stop sign and collides with a car driven by a friend. He is thrown from his car and killed.
    1973-1974 - Works at the Houston Public Library, Kashmere Gardens Branch.
    1974-1977 - Works as a librarian at Dawson Elementary School in Austin, Texas.
    November 5, 1977 - Laura and George W. Bush marry just three months after meeting.
    November 8, 1994 - George is elected governor of Texas. He is re-elected in 1998.
    1995-2000 - First Lady of Texas.
    1995 - Establishes the Texas Book Festival, an annual event promoting literacy.
    1997 - Becomes involved in an early-childhood development initiative, called the Reach Out and Read program, aimed at helping parents and other caregivers to prepare preschool children for formal instruction in reading.
    January 20, 2001 - Becomes first lady of the United States.
    September 8, 2001 - With the Library of Congress, launches the first National Book Festival.
    November 2001 - Becomes the first first lady in history to record a full presidential radio address, speaking out on the plight of women and children under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
    June 4, 2002 - Launches the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries.
    September 30, 2003 - Visits Russia as part of an education and literacy tour.
    February 9, 2006 - Is received by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.
    November 2006 - Has a cancerous tumor removed from her right shin.
    August 2007 - The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health is founded as part of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
    October 21, 2007 - Arrives in the United Arab Emirates to begin a four-day tour around the Middle East to raise breast cancer awareness.
    June 2008 - Tours Afghanistan.
    August 2008 - In Thailand, she meets with refugees from Myanmar. Later attends the Olympic Games in Beijing with the president and former President George H.W. Bush.
    September 1, 2008 - Speaker at the Republican National Convention.
    December 19, 2008 - Official portrait is unveiled at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.
    May 4, 2010 - Her autobiography, "Spoken From the Heart," is released.
    May 11, 2010 - During an interview on "Larry King Live," Bush comes out in support of legalizing same-sex marriage and abortion remaining legal.
      May 10, 2016 - With daughter Jenna, publishes "Our Great Big Backyard," a picture book to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
      June 17, 2018 - Writes an op-ed criticizing the current zero-tolerance immigration policy being enforced under the Trump administration. Bush calls the separation of children from parents entering the United States illegally "cruel" and "immoral."