Jenna Bush Hager Early Life
Former first daughter Jenna Welch Bush was born on November 25, 1981, in Dallas, Texas to Bush and his wife, Laura. Hager was born one minute after her fraternal twin sister, Barbara. She was named after her maternal grandmother Jenna Hawkins. Her paternal grandparents are former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush.
Hager graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in Austin, Texas, in 2000, the same year her father was elected president. As the Bush family settled into the White House, Jenna attended the University of Texas in Austin, where she began to attract attention as an underage partier. In April 2001, Hager was charged with possession of alcohol as a minor. The following month, she was charged with attempting to use her grandmother’s ID to purchase alcohol. She pleaded no contest to both misdemeanors.
While at UT, Jenna became a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and graduated in 2004 with a degree in English. She made several appearances with her sister on behalf of their father’s re-election campaign, including a speech at the Republican Convention.
Early Career and Books
After the election, Hager taught third grade at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School in Washington, D.C, for a year and a half. In 2006, she visited Africa with her mother. She then worked as an intern for UNICEF, where she taught in Latin America and visited drought-stricken Paraguay. The trip inspired the children’s book, Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope (2007), based on the life of a 17-year-old Latin American single mother infected with HIV.
In 2008, Hager and her mother co-authored Read All About It!, a book urging children to read.
Other books by Hager include Our Great Big Backyard (2016), Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life (2017) and Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss (2020).
‘Today’ Correspondent and Host
In 2009, Hager began working as a contributing correspondent for NBC’s Today show. Along with interviewing important people like Michelle Obama, she often appeared with the anchors on set.
On February 26, 2019, it was announced that Hager would replace the retiring Kathie Lee Gifford and join Kotb as co-host of the fourth hour of Today.
Jenna Bush Hager Personal Life
On August 15, 2007, she became engaged to Henry Chase Hager, whom she’d met on the campaign trail for her father in 2004. Hager was a White House aide for Karl Rove, and the son of former Virginia Republican Party Chairman John H. Hager. The pair married in May 2008, on the Bush ranch in Texas.
Hager gave birth to the couple’s first child, daughter Margaret Laura “Mila” Hager — named after her grandmothers — on April 13, 2013, in New York City. The couple welcomed their second child, daughter Poppy Louise Hager, on August 13, 2015. The baby name is an homage to Jenna’s grandfather, former President George H.W. Bush, whose family nickname was “Poppy.” The son, Henry Harold “Hal” Hager, was born on August 2, 2019.