2008 Flame of Hope Award

Mrs. Laura Bush

Laura Bush is actively involved in issues of national and global concern, with a particular emphasis on education, health care, and human rights. 

As one of her first priorities in the White House, she convened the Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development to share research on the best ways for parents and caregivers to prepare children for lifelong learning. She has held regional summits to spread the information across the United States. 

Mrs. Bush is Honorary Ambassador for the United Nations Literacy Decade and hosted the first-ever White House Conference on Global Literacy in September 2006 to encourage international cooperation to change lives and build free societies through literacy. The Conference developed as a result of Mrs. Bush’s visits to countries around the world where she witnessed the power of literacy to improve lives, especially for women and girls. 

Late in 2006, President and Mrs. Bush hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Malaria to raise awareness of malaria and mobilize a grassroots effort to save millions of lives in Africa. The Summit brought together international experts; corporations and foundations; African civic leaders; and voluntary, faith-based and non-profit organizations to discuss effective ways to deliver prevention and treatments. 

Mrs. Bush is determined to do what she can to help young people of every age make the most of their potential. As the leader of President Bush’s Helping America’s Youth initiative, she listens to the concerns of young people throughout the country and at regional conferences and spreads the word about programs that are succeeding in changing young lives for the better. 

Laura Bush is passionate about the importance and pleasures of reading, and she joined with the Library of Congress to launch the first National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., in September 2001. The 2007 National Book Festival drew over 120,000 book-lovers from across the nation. 

Mrs. Bush supports education campaigns for breast cancer and heart disease. She educates women about their risks and emphasizes the importance of healthy eating, exercise, and preventive screenings. 

A hiking and camping enthusiast, Mrs. Bush helped to start Preserve America, a national initiative to protect our cultural and natural heritage. She highlights preservation efforts across the country and encourages Americans to get involved in preserving main streets, parks, and community heritage treasures. 

Laura Bush was born on November 4, 1946, in Midland, Texas. She earned degrees in education and library science and worked for several years as an elementary school teacher and children’s librarian before marrying George Walker Bush. They are the parents of twin daughters.