Jenna Bush Hager
Hager in 2017
Jenna Welch Bush

(1981-11-25) November 25, 1981 (age 42)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Texas at Austin (BA)
  • Author
  • television presenter
Years active2000–present
TelevisionToday correspondent (2009–present)
Today with Hoda & Jenna co-anchor (2019–present)
Political partyIndependent
Henry Chase Hager
(m. 2008)
FamilyBush family

Jenna Welch Hager (née Bush; born November 25, 1981)[1] is an American news personality, author, and journalist. She is the co-host of Today with Hoda & Jenna, the fourth hour of NBC's morning news program, Today. Hager and her fraternal twin sister, Barbara, are the daughters of the 43rd U.S. President, George W. Bush, and former First Lady Laura Bush. Hager is also a granddaughter of the 41st U.S. President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, great-granddaughter of former U.S. Senator Prescott Bush, niece of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and first cousin of former Land Commissioner of Texas, George P. Bush.

After her father's presidency, Hager became an author, an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine, and a television personality on NBC, being featured, most prominently, as a member of The Today Show as a correspondent, contributor and co-host.[2]

Early life and education

Jenna (left) and Barbara Bush with their parents in 1990

Hager was born on 25 November 1981 at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas,[1] and she was named after her maternal grandmother, Jenna Hawkins Welch.[3] While living in Dallas, she and her sister, Barbara, attended Preston Hollow Elementary School and then, The Hockaday School. In 1994, after her father was elected Governor of Texas and the family moved to Austin, Texas, Bush was a student at St. Andrew's Episcopal School and attended Austin High School, from 1996 until her graduation, in 2000.[4]

With her father becoming President in 2001, she attended the University of Texas at Austin and took summer classes at New York University. She was a legacy member of Kappa Alpha Theta, her mother's sorority. While there, Jenna and her sister, Barbara, made national headlines, when they were both arrested for alcohol-related charges, twice, within five weeks. On April 29, 2001, Jenna was charged with a misdemeanor for possession of alcohol under the age of 21 in Austin. On May 29, 2001, Jenna was charged with another misdemeanor — attempting to use a fake ID (with the name "Barbara Pierce," her paternal grandmother's maiden name) to purchase alcohol. She pleaded no contest to both charges.[5][6][7][8] Jenna Bush graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English, in 2004.

2004 U.S. presidential election

Jenna Bush (second from right) witnesses her father taking the oath on Inauguration Day on January 20, 2005.

Jenna and Barbara asked their father not to run for President of the United States in 2000: "Oh, I just wish you wouldn't run. It's going to change our life." Her father told them that he and her mother needed to live their lives.[9] In the winter of 2003, she and Barbara opted to become involved in the 2004 campaign.[9] In response to this decision, she made media appearances, during the summer of 2004, prior to the election. She and her sister made several joint public appearances, including giving a speech to the Republican Convention on August 31, 2004.[10] She made headlines, when she was found sticking her tongue out to media photographers at a campaign stop in St. Louis.[11] Jenna and Barbara took turns traveling to swing states, with their father, and they also gave a seven page interview and photo shoot in Vogue.[3] Jenna, later, confirmed that Barbara and Jenna also developed a friendship with John Kerry's daughters, Alexandra and Vanessa, who campaigned on behalf of their father.[12]



Before leaving Washington, D.C., in summer 2006, Hager worked at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School for a year and a half, as a teacher's aide.[13] She took a leave of absence from the charter school position to work at a shelter, as part of an internship for UNICEF's Educational Policy Department in Latin America, specifically Panama.[14][15] After her internship for UNICEF, Hager returned to her position at the charter school in Washington, D.C.[16] She has done work as a part-time reading coordinator at the SEED Public Charter School in Baltimore, Maryland, and she has contributed a monthly news story about education for the Today show.[17]

Jenna Hager (left), with her mother, her twin sister, and Elmo, at the Sesame Workshop Fifth Annual Benefit Dinner (2007)


In 2007, Hager began marketing a book proposal, with the assistance of Robert B. Barnett, a Washington attorney.[14] The title of the book is Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, and it chronicles her experiences working with UNICEF sponsored charities in Latin America, including visits to drought-stricken Paraguay in 2006, while working as an intern for United Nations Children's Fund.[14][18][19] HarperCollins announced, in March 2007, it would publish the book, and it was released September 28, 2007, with an initial printing of 500,000 copies.[20] Her share of the profits will go to UNICEF, while the remainder will go to the woman whose life is the basis of the book, assisting in the young woman's continuing education.[21] During the book tour, Hager appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. During the interview, Hager telephoned her parents.[22] Hager wrote a second book, in conjunction with her mother, designed to encourage children to read.[23] The book, entitled Read All About It!, was published on April 22, 2008, also by HarperCollins.[23]

On November 26, 2012, Hager was named editor-at-large of Southern Living magazine.[24]

NBC News (2009–present)

Since 2009, Jenna Bush has worked at NBC News, as a correspondent, and at Today, as both a contributor and an anchor. In August 2009, NBC hired Hager as a correspondent and contributor for The Today Show.

Jenna Hager reading at her late grandfather's funeral service (2018)

As time progressed, Hager's profile increased on Today, including filling in as the orange room anchor during the 7AM-9AM hours and substituting for Kathie Lee Gifford or Hoda Kotb during the fourth hour.[25]

In 2018, she interviewed Michelle Obama in a discussion about her life in the White House, the challenges of raising her daughters in the spotlight, and her book, Becoming.[26] They also discussed the political atmosphere and political bipartisanship, with Obama stating that, despite their political differences, Hager's father, George W. Bush, is a "beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man".[27]

In March 2019, Hager started Read with Jenna, a monthly book club on Today Show.[28] In April 2019, Hager began co-anchoring the fourth hour of Today with Hoda Kotb, following Kathie Lee Gifford's departure.[29]

In 2019, Hager was able to participate with Willie Geist in a special episode of How Low Will You Go, which aired on the Today Show.[30]

In 2021, Hager reacted, emotionally, to the storming of the United States Capitol, live, on air, stating:

I have had the privilege of standing on those steps for several inaugurations, not just for family members but for the first black president of the United States of America. I kissed my grandfather goodbye in that rotunda. I have felt the majesty of our country in those walls, and nobody can take that from any of us.[31]

In February 2022, Hager signed a first-look deal with Universal Studio Group.[32]

On a November 2022 episode of Today with Hoda and Jenna, Hager confessed that she "never wears underwear".[33][34][35] Later that month, she appeared on Watch What Happens Live and told host Andy Cohen that she did not wear underwear during a dinner she had with King Charles — then Prince Charles — the night before Queen Elizabeth II died.[36]

In February 2023, she announced her third book, Love Comes First, and sources reported "Jenna's top Picks"[37] and other endorsement deals.

Sports investment

In February 2021, The Washington Post reported that Chelsea Clinton, Bush Hager, Dominique Dawes, and Briana Scurry were part of an investment group, investing in the Washington Spirit professional soccer club in the National Women's Soccer League.[38][39]

Personal life

Barbara Bush (left), Laura Bush, newlyweds Henry and Jenna Hager, and George W. Bush shortly after the wedding ceremony on May 10, 2008, at the Prairie Chapel Ranch near Crawford, Texas

Bush met Henry Chase Hager during the 2004 presidential campaign. They became engaged in August 2007. Before proposing, Hager asked President Bush for permission to marry his daughter.[40] Their relationship became public, when the two appeared together at a White House dinner for The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (now King Charles III and Queen Camilla), in November 2005. Henry Hager attended St. Christopher's School, in Richmond, Virginia, and he holds an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. He worked as a U.S. Department of Commerce aide, for Carlos Gutierrez, and as a White House aide, for Karl Rove.[41] He is the son of former Virginia Republican Party Chairman John H. Hager, who previously served as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and as the U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary, under George W. Bush.[42] The wedding took place during a private ceremony, on May 10, 2008, at her parents' Prairie Chapel Ranch, near Crawford, Texas. Henry and Jenna Hager have three children.[43][44][45][46]

Unlike most of her relatives (but like her twin sister, Barbara), Hager is not a member of the Republican Party. While registering to vote in New York, she mistakenly registered with the Independence Party of New York, while meaning to declare herself a nonpartisan.[47] In 2010, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush told People that they preferred not to identify with any political party, stating, "We're both very independent thinkers."[48][49][50]

Hager serves on the board of the Greenwich International Film Festival.[51][52]


See also


  1. ^ a b "Jenna Bush Biography: Writer (1981–)". (FYI / A&E Networks). Archived from the original on January 9, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  2. ^ Bauder, David (August 30, 2009). "Former first daughter Jenna Bush joins 'Today'". Victoria Advocate What. Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Wehrman, Jessica (August 30, 2004). "Jenna, Barbara to be seen and heard". Scripps Howard News Service. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Schumer, Fran (August 3, 2003). "Blackboard: School Choice; Where They Send Their Own". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Bush daughters in Texas". USA Today. May 31, 2001. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  6. ^ "Sentence for Bush daughter". BBC News. June 8, 2001. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  7. ^ Walsh, Joan (May 31, 2001). "The first family's alcohol troubles". Salon. San Francisco. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  8. ^ "Jenna Bush: Didn't Learn Her Lesson?". The Smoking Gun. Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network. 2001. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "All In The Family". Newsweek. November 15, 2004. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
  10. ^ "Remarks by Barbara Bush & Jenna Bush to the 2004 Republican National Convention". The Washington Post. August 31, 2004. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  11. ^ Alberts, Sheldon (August 16, 2007). "Hard-partying presidential daughter Jenna on the bridal path". Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2007.
  12. ^ "Jenna describes friendship with John Kerry’s daughters during 2004 campaign",, 5 Nov 2020, accessed 11 October 2021
  13. ^ Argetsinger, Amy; Roberts, Roxanne (July 3, 2006). "First Twin Jenna Bush may leave D.C. social scene". The San Diego Union Tribune. Archived from the original on January 15, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c Getlin, Josh (March 6, 2007). "Jenna Bush to pen book on single mother with HIV". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  15. ^ Brunskill, Mary K. (March 6, 2007). "HarperCollins Announces Publication Of Jenna Bush's Book For Teens". All Headline News.[dead link]
  16. ^ Hollandsworth, Skip (November 2007). "Girl Gone Mild". Texas Monthly. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015.
  17. ^ Harris, Rachel Lee (August 30, 2009). "Familiar Face on 'Today'". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  18. ^ Maul, Kimberly (September 30, 2007). "First Daughter Jenna Bush Promotes New Book". Fox News Channel. Associated Press. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  19. ^ Johnson, M.L. (September 11, 2007). "Jenna Bush Does Well With Kid Book". Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2007.
  20. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (March 6, 2007). "Jenna Bush embarks on book 'Journey'". USA Today. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  21. ^ Thompson, Bob (September 30, 2007). "Jenna Bush talks about book, rumors Interview covers war, wedding". The Washington Post.
  22. ^ "Ellen has guest Jenna Bush call dad". United Press International. December 5, 2007. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Celizic, Mike (April 15, 2008). "Jenna Bush dishes on her May 10 wedding--She tells Vogue magazine about her gown, the location". USA Today. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  24. ^ Puente, Maria (November 26, 2012). "Jenna Bush Hager gets 'Southern Living' job". USA Today. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  25. ^ Vulpo, Mike (April 8, 2019). "How Jenna Bush Hager Became Kathie Lee Gifford's Perfect Today Replacement". E! online. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  26. ^ "Michelle Obama Opens Up To Jenna Bush Hager About Her New Book - Full Interview - TODAY". Youtube. November 14, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  27. ^ "Jenna Bush Hager Talks to Michelle Obama About Her Friendship With George W. Bush". Town and Country. November 14, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  28. ^ "Read with Jenna".
  29. ^ Triggs, Charlotte; Murphy, Helen (May 2, 2019). "Jenna Bush Hager Gets Real About Being Pregnant in a New Job: 'Is the Timing Ideal? Not Really'". People.
  30. ^ "More cast changes reportedly coming to 'SNL'". Retrieved September 3, 2022.
  31. ^ "Jenna Bush Hager reacts to Capitol riots: 'I kissed my grandfather goodbye in that rotunda'". NBC News. January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  32. ^ Steinberg, Brian (February 14, 2022). "Jenna Bush Hager Adds Page to Book Club With Universal Studio Production Deal". Variety. Retrieved February 14, 2022.
  33. ^ Quinn, Dave (November 16, 2022). "Jenna Bush Hager Admits She Never Wears Underwear: 'I'm Sure My Mom Has Never Been More Proud'". People.
  34. ^ Hampson, Laura (November 17, 2022). "Jenna Bush Hager shocks fans with underwear habit". The Independent.
  35. ^ "Hoda Kotb Thinks It's 'Gross' to Skip Underwear — Here's What An Ob-Gyn Says". December 7, 2022.
  36. ^ Hampson, Laura (December 1, 2022). "Jenna Bush Hager admits she did not wear underwear during formal dinner with King Charles". Yahoo! News.
  37. ^ Johnson, Aaron (February 14, 2023). "NBC Staffers Upset With Jenna Bush Hager After Being Informed Of Host's Side Stream Of Income: 'It Tarnishes The News Division's Credibility'". RadarOnline. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  38. ^ Polacek, Scott. "Report: Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush Hager Among New Investors in NWSL's Spirit". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  39. ^ Goff, Steven. "Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush Hager among several new Washington Spirit investors". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on June 9, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  40. ^ Argetsinger, Amy; Roberts, Roxanne (August 17, 2007). "Jenna and Henry: Now They're Really, Really Official". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  41. ^ "Jenna Bush Ties The Knot At Daddy's Ranch". CBS News. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  42. ^ "Jenna Bush engaged to be married". Daily News. New York. Associated Press. August 16, 2007. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  43. ^ "George W. Bush becomes a grandpa". USA Today. Associated Press. April 14, 2013.
  44. ^ "Jenna Bush Hager Gives Birth! Today Show Correspondent Welcomes Daughter Poppy Louise Hager". E! Online. August 14, 2015.
  45. ^ "Jenna Bush Hager welcomes her 3rd child — and her 1st son!". Today. August 5, 2019.
  46. ^ Callahan, Chrissy (August 8, 2023). "Jenna Bush Hager says she'd like to have another baby – but why her husband doesn't". Today.
  47. ^ Katz, Celeste (September 3, 2014). "Exclusive: Ex-Prez' daughter Jenna Bush Hager mistakenly registered with NY's Independence Party". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  48. ^ Sobieraj Westfall, Sandra (May 17, 2010). "The Bush Twins On Their Own". People Magazine. Vol. 73, no. 19.
  49. ^ Campbell, Colin (September 4, 2014). "George W. Bush's Daughters Are Not Republicans". Business Insider. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  50. ^ Chumley, Cheryl K. (September 5, 2014). "Bush daughters decline Republican label: 'We're both very independent'". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  51. ^ Heins, Barabara (April 20, 2014). "Actors Michael Imperioli, Deborah Royce Join Greenwich International Film Festival Board". Greenwich Patch. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  52. ^ Moskowitz, Michelle (June 9, 2017). "GIFF Makes an Impact, Especially With Women". Greenwich Patch. Retrieved May 6, 2019.