|Bush on January 6, 2005|
|First Lady of Florida|
January 5, 1999 – January 2, 2007
|Preceded by||Anne Selph MacKay|
|Succeeded by||Carole Crist|
|Born||Columba Garnica Gallo
August 17, 1953
León, Guanajuato, Mexico
|Spouse(s)||Jeb Bush (m. 1974)|
|Relations||George H. W. Bush (father-in-law)
George W. Bush (brother-in-law)
|Children||George P. Bush, Noelle Bush, Jeb Bush, Jr.|
|Parents||José María Garnica Rodríguez and Josefina Gallo Esquivel|
Columba Bush (pronounced, coh-LOOM-bah; née Garnica Gallo; born August 17, 1953) is a Mexican-born American philanthropist. Bush, who served as First Lady of Florida from 1999 to 2007, is the wife of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Columba Bush was born in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, the daughter of José María Garnica Rodríguez (1925-2013), a migrant worker and waiter from Arperos, Guanajuato, and Josefina Gallo Esquivel (born 1920) from León, who where married in 1949. Her father abandoned the family when she was 3 years old in 1956. Her parents were divorced in 1963 when Columba was 10 years old. She remained in León with her mother while her father immigrated to the United States.
She attended Instituto Antonia Mayllen, a private Catholic school in the historic center of León.
Columba Bush has two older siblings, a brother, Francisco Jose Garnica (born December 1949), and a sister, Lucila del Carmen Schmitz (born October 1951). Her brother currently lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
She met Jeb Bush in 1970 in León when she was 16 years old and he was 17 years old and teaching English as part of a Phillips Academy foreign exchange program. They were married on February 23, 1974, in Austin, Texas at the chapel in the Catholic student center on the campus of the University of Texas.
She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1979.
The couple have three children: George P. Bush, Noelle Bush and John Ellis Bush, Jr.
Their elder son, George Prescott Bush (born April 24, 1976, in Texas), went to Gulliver Preparatory School, studied at Rice University, and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
John Ellis Bush, Jr., Bush's younger son (born December 13, 1983, in Miami), who attended Bolles School, works for a Miami, Florida commercial real estate firm. In October 2007, the younger son endorsed Rudy Giuliani for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination and supported the effort as chairman of "Florida Young Professionals for Rudy".
Bush's relationship with her mother was the subject of a brief profile in the book Mamá: Latina Daughters Celebrate Their Mothers by María Pérez-Brown (ISBN 0-06-008386-7). Her sister and her mother live near her in the Miami area.
Columba Bush has been active in promoting the arts. In 1999, she worked with Arts for a Complete Education/Florida Alliance for Arts Education (ACE/FAAE) to develop Arts for Life!, a program devoted to increasing the importance of art in the education system.
Bush has been active in programs to warn young people of the dangers of drug abuse. She has worked on treatment and prevention programs such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She has served as co-chair of the NIAAA initiative, Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free, and has served on the board of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
U.S. Customs fine
In June 1999, she was "briefly detained" at Atlanta's airport. She had declared $500 worth of merchandise on her US Customs form, but receipts indicated that she was carrying "$19,000 worth of clothing and jewelry". She continued to Tallahassee after using a personal check to pay a $4,100 fine. A spokesman for the Bush family stated that she did not "answer truthfully at first because she did not want her husband to know how much she had spent".
- Parga, Beatriz (2004). Columba Bush, Grijalbo, ISBN 0-30-720926-1.
- Perez-Brown, Maria (2003). Mama: Latina Daughters Celebrate Their Mothers, Rayo, ISBN 0-06-008386-7.
- "Jeb Bush, Catholic Convert. Will His Brother Convert?". Catholic.org. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Guevara-Castro, Lillian (May 5, 1999). "Florida's First Lady: Columba Bush settles into life in the governor's mansion". Ocala Star-Banner (Ocala, Florida). Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- Kruse, Michael (March 19, 2015). "Jeb Bush's forgotten father-in-law". Politico (Washington, D.C.). Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- Fagge, Nick (2015-01-22). "An illegal immigrant, warring parents and a bitter rift with the father she did not see for 40 years – the extraordinary story of Columba Bush as her husband bids to make her the first Hispanic first lady". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2015-02-21.
- Tumulty, Karen (March 21, 2015). "Columba Bush’s painful, unlikely road from Mexico toward the White House". The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.). Retrieved March 22, 2015.
Her brother Francisco lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, relatives said.
- Altman, Alex (March 5, 2015). "7 Things We Learned Writing a Cover Story About Jeb Bush". Time (New York City). Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- Gedda, George (2001-02-14). "Bush has hemisphere on brain". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved 2006-10-21.
- "Jeb Bush's Latin 'Lover:' R-Rated - Bloomberg". Political Capital.
- "Giuliani Picks Up (Jeb) Bush (Jr.) Endorsement", Wall Street Journal Washington Wire, October 18, 2007. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
- "Columba Bush Warns Of Perils Posed By Drugs". Sun Sentinel.
- "Jeb and Columba to speak at Catholic youth encounter". Miami Herald Blog. 6 July 2007.
- "Father-in-Law", Bush campaign ad
- "The Patience of Jeb (washingtonpost.com)". washingtonpost.com.
- Cox, David; Kennedy, John (June 22, 1999). "Bush Embarrassed By Wife's Run-in With Customs". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- Becker, Jo (June 22, 1999). "Bush: Wife meant to hide shopping spree from me". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
Anne Selph MacKay
|First Lady of Florida
1999 – 2007