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M. D. Anderson Fundraiser Slates Laura Bush and Cokie Roberts

Dallas-Fort Worth event celebrates 20th anniversary of 'Living Legend' interview, luncheon

M. D. Anderson News Release 09/09/09

Former first lady Laura Bush and veteran radio journalist Cokie Roberts will take the stage Sept. 18 at the 20th annual A Conversation With a Living Legend in Dallas benefiting The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Event organizers expect some 1,000 guests for the luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Anatole, 2201 Stemmons Freeway. Tickets, $300 and up, afford holders an opportunity to witness an exclusive one-on-one interview onstage while supporting research and patient care initiatives at M. D. Anderson.

Since its inception in 1990, A Conversation With a Living Legend in Dallas has raised more than $8.5 million for M. D. Anderson's research, patient care and educational initiatives. Event organizers hope this year's anniversary event will bring the total to $10 million.

Chair Allie Beth Allman leads this year's steering committee of Dallas- and Fort Worth-area members of M. D. Anderson's Board of Visitors and other community leaders. The Hon. Bill Melton, former Dallas Cowboys announcer and Dallas County treasurer, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Presenting sponsors Andrews Distributing and AT&T have contributed $100,000 each to the event. Additional underwriters include PlainsCapital Corporation and Allie Beth Allman & Associates.

A Conversation With a Living Legend has honored Carol Burnett, Rudolph W. Giuliani, James A. Baker III, Jack Nicklaus, Colin Powell, Barbara Bush, George H. W. Bush, Nolan Ryan, Lance Armstrong, Norman Schwarzkopf, Margaret Thatcher and Cal Ripken Jr., among others. The 2008 event, featuring energy entrepreneur and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens and interviewer Evan Smith of Texas Monthly, raised $1 million for M. D. Anderson.

For ticket information, call 866-262-9029.

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About Laura Bush
A native of Midland, Mrs. Bush earned a Bachelor of Science in education in 1968 from Southern Methodist University. She taught in public schools in Dallas and Houston. In 1973, she earned a Master of Library Science from The University of Texas at Austin and worked as a public school librarian. In 1977, she met and married George Walker Bush. They are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna.

One of Mrs. Bush's first priorities in the White House was to convene the Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development. She continues to work with teacher recruitment programs such as Teach For America, The New Teacher Project and Troops to Teachers. Mrs. Bush is actively involved in issues of national and global concern, with an emphasis on education, health care and human rights. In honor of her mother, a breast cancer survivor, Mrs. Bush supports education campaigns for breast cancer, serving as global ambassador for Susan G. Komen For the Cure(r). In June 2006, she launched the U.S.-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research, bringing together breast cancer awareness advocates from Jordan and the United States. The initiative continues through the U.S. Department of State, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the King Hussein Cancer Center and the King Hussein Cancer Foundation in Jordan and M. D. Anderson. In July 2007, she announced the Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research of the Americas, an initiative of medical experts and breast cancer awareness advocates in the United States, including lead medical adviser M. D. Anderson, and in Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica and Panama. A partner with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Mrs. Bush spreads awareness of The Heart Truth, a national campaign for women about heart disease, the leading cause of death among women in America.

Mrs. Bush joined with the Library of Congress in September 2001 to launch the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. The 2007 National Book Festival drew more than 120,000 book lovers from across the nation. As honorary ambassador for the United Nations Literacy Decade, she is an international spokesperson for efforts to educate people throughout the world, especially women and girls. A hiking and camping enthusiast, Mrs. Bush helped start Preserve America, a national initiative to protect our cultural and natural heritage.

About Cokie Roberts
Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News, providing analysis for all network news programming. From 1996 to 2002, she and Sam Donaldson co-anchored the weekly ABC interview program "This Week." Roberts also serves as senior news analyst for National Public Radio. In her more than 40 years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting.

In addition to her appearances on the airwaves, Roberts, along with her husband, Steven V. Roberts, writes a weekly column syndicated in newspapers around the country by United Media. The Robertses are contributing editors to USA Weekend Magazine, and together they wrote "From this Day Forward," an account of their more than 40-year marriage and other marriages in American history. Cokie Roberts' No. 1 best-seller, "We Are Our Mothers' Daughters," is an account of women's roles and relationships throughout American history. Roberts also is the author of the best-selling histories "Founding Mothers" and "Ladies of Liberty."

Roberts holds more than 20 honorary degrees, serves on the boards of several nonprofit institutions and sits on the President's Commission on Service and Civic Participation. She is the mother of two and grandmother of six.

About M. D. Anderson
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. M. D. Anderson is one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. For the sixth time in the past eight years, M. D. Anderson is the No. 1 hospital in the nation for cancer care according to the annual "Best Hospitals" survey published by U.S. News & World Report. 09/09/09

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center