THE SURPRISING PASSION BARBARA BUSH AND DOLLY PARTON HAVE IN COMMON

Dated: 05/13/2018

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The Surprising Passion Barbara Bush and Dolly Parton Have in Common

Dolly Parton Reading Shannon Finney/Getty Images

Can you guess what it is?

PERRI ORMONT BLUMBERG May 3, 2018

Indeed, Barbara Bush and Dolly Parton are very different. While Barbara Bush lived her life as a public figure and advocate as the beloved former First Lady to George H.W. Bush and mother to president George W. Bush, Dolly Parton is a celebrated singer, songwriter, and one of our favorite ambassadors for what it means to be a Southern lady. Barbara Bush spent much of her life in Texas, and Dolly Parton has her roots firmly planted in Tennessee. Bush elegantly sported her signature white hair for many years, while Parton is a blonde gal through-and-through.

But despite their many differences, the two famous Southern women have one major thing in common.

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Dolly Parton on Not Having Kids: “God Has a Plan for Everything” On the heels of her first children’s album, “I Believe In You," Parton stopped by Today for a candid conversation about her love for kids, and how she feels about not having her own.

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Their love of reading and strong belief in the power of literacy is something the duo both passionately promoted and promote in their own ways. Inspired by her son Neil's struggle with dyslexia, Bush began a crusade to help literacy non-profits, ultimately forming her own organization, the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, which promotes literacy for people of all ages in the Houston area.

Parton, by contrast, was inspired to make her mark on children's literacy because of her upbringing in poverty and realization that the ability to read has a direct impact on one's success and happiness. As the founder of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, she helped 13.1 million books make it into kids' hands around the world in 2017.

So next time you gift a book, share a bedtime story with a little one, or volunteer at your local library, know that you're making these two luminous ladies proud.

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