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Inside Jenna Hager Bush and Her Twin Barbara Bush's Super Sweet Sisterhood

Learn all about the former first daughters of the Unites States' emotional bond as sisters.

By Jessica White

Many know TODAY co-anchor Jenna Bush Hager thanks to her effortless charm and expert correspondence, but no one knows Hager as well as her twin sister, Barbara Pierce Bush.

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The former first daughters of the United States are inseparable, having navigated a hectic lifestyle together growing up as twins while their grandfather, uncle, and father were all involved in politics.

RELATED: Jenna Bush Hager & Twin Barbara Play in 1986 Throwback Photo

Hager and Bush have always had each other to rely on, leading their professional careers to delightfully intermingle from time to time. Hager and Bush could write the book on sisterhood — in fact, they've already written several books on the subject.

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush's Early Years

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush laugh together on TODAY

Hager and Bush were born on November 2, 1981, and were raised in Texas.

The two girls turned 7 shortly after their grandfather, George H.W. Bush, was elected president; they were 13 when their father, George W. Bush, began his service as governor of Texas; and and were 19 when their father's term as president began in 2001.

As the girls approached the end of high school (amid their father's presidential campaign), Hager admitted that she had been tempted to follow Bush as she applied to Stanford for college due to the school's unique admission rules regarding twins.

"They have a twin policy where if one twin gets in, they automatically let the other in because they don't want to crush souls," Hager explained to Hoda Kotb, according to People. "Which I appreciate, Stanford, as a twin... So I was like, 'Dad, Barbara just read this, I'm going to apply!' And he was like, 'No you're not. Don't ruin her chances!'"

Hager and Bush both ultimately landed at different schools: Bush went to Yale and Hager attended University of Texas at Austin.

Jenna Bush and Barbara Bush on Being Twins

Jenna Bush Hager at her wedding with her family and new husband

As fraternal twins, the two women share a steel-tight relationship unlike any other, finishing each other's sentences and frequently talking in unison. Their connection ranges from delightfully relatable — like being dressed up in matching outfits — to powerfully compelling due to their shared upbringing. 

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"The thing that is interesting about twins is we have a very shared memory because, obviously, we were the same age at every stage in life and often did things together," Bush told The New York Times. "We have a very shared perspective. That differs if you had a sibling who was older than you and thought what you were doing was uncool, etc. We were always in the same stage together. And so, a lot of our communication is through that frame of reference."

Bush has frequently echoed Hager's appreciation for having an ally as they grew up.

"I think it's the luckiest thing in the world that's ever happened to me that I was born with a twin," Bush told Inbound in 2018. "Because I had someone to navigate life with that was my same age walking alongside me and everything. That made me more brave than I thought I could be and it certainly pushed me to do more with my life."

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"I think we both realized that having a twin in our life has been this unbelievable gift. And both private moments and then also awkward public ones, to have each other was this unbelievable thing," Hager told Inbound of her bond with Bush. "And we have seen how it's made us both much braver in our careers and in our life paths. Having somebody that wants to lift you up, that thinks you're good enough."

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush didn't like dressing alike

Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Bush React To Throwback Photo

During a November 2023 appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show for their children's book, Hager and Bush were cracking up after seeing an adorable throwback photo of themselves as kids wearing matching blue dresses. 

"Where you always dressed alike?" Kelly Clarkson asked, a fellow Texas native.

"My mom liked that," Hager replied, shaking her head at the former First Lady's style choice. "But then we rebelled."

RELATED: Jenna Bush Hager & Her Twin Barbara Are Such Cute 4 Year Olds in a Summer Throwback

"Then, we took each other's clothes instead," Bush quipped as an ode to the universal experience of sisters stealthily "borrowing" clothes from the other's wardrobe.

On the same press tour, Hager and Bush stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where Jimmy Fallon was keen to show the audience a throwback photo of the young girls posing with their grandparents, former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush. Hager looked embarrassingly darling in a mustard yellow fit.

"It really shows the creative freedom our mother gave us," Hager joked.

"Look at that outfit!" Bush teased while in stitches. 

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush's Books

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush smile during an interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

As the years passed, Hager became one of the country's most popular morning show anchors, and Bush became an activist and chairwoman for the nonprofit organization Global Health Corps. But, when the sisters are not busy at work, they're dreaming up book ideas to write together.

Hager has written several books in her career, and penned a couple with her twin sister.

To date, Hager and Bush have co-authored three books together: their 2017 memoir Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life (which they also turned into a 2019 children's book); their 2022 children's book The Superpower Sisterhood; and their most recent children's release, 2023's Love Comes First.

RELATED: All 67 Books in Jenna Bush Hager’s Book Club, "Read With Jenna"

Bush described Sisters First as "a love letter to each other" in her Inbound interview, with the book covering the sisters' experience of being born into a political dynasty. 

For their most recent release, Love Comes First, Hager and Bush were inspired by their children.

"We wanted to write another book that wasn't solely centered on sisters, but more about love, there's plenty of room for love," Bush said during their Kelly Clarkson Show appearance. "You can have your blood relatives, you can have your chosen family, and their love is infinite. And there's always room for more, and that's what we wanted to encourage."

But one of their favorite parts of writing books together, they have said, is the opportunity to dedicate some time to their relationship.

"It's like you keep writing these amazing phenomenal best-selling books, but it's just a reason to have girls' weekends together," TODAY's Savannah Guthrie teased.

"For the sister road trip, especially if there's queso around," Hager agreed, showing some love for her and her sister's favorite Texan staple.

Hager and Bush echoed their delight for their book tours during their The Kelly Clarkson Show appearance.

"We'll forgo the two rooms for the fantasy suite, you know..." Hager teased. "It's fun to be with each other, it gives us a slumber party."

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush Today

Barbara Pierce Bush & Jenna Bush Hager pose together backstage of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Today, Hager has two daughters and a son, and Bush has a daughter.

"Being sisters was sort of always our inspiration [for our books], 'cause we were born with a partner. There's nothing better than having a twin," Bush told Clarkson about their most recent book. "So all of our first books were about sisters, and then our families started looking different than what we had grown up with."

RELATED: Fans Think Jenna Bush Hager's Son Hal Looks Just Like Grandpa George W. Bush on TODAY

Hager told Inbound that connecting with others is what "fuels" the twin sisters in their careers.

"I've seen Barbara with the fellows that she works with, and you know people will say, like, 'Oh, she's the shy one,' and I'm like, 'She's done multiple Ted Talks, she's not that shy,'" Hager explained. "But I've also seen the way that she thinks and the way she interacts with these people when she's built a community, that's part of what gives her energy. And for me, it's the same thing, I mean when I travel around and get to interview people... To get to tell people's stories, I find it to be such an honor and a privilege."

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