Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush are twin sisters, yes, but that doesn’t mean they’re exactly alike. In fact, had you not known they were twins, you might not even realize they’re siblings. Not only do they not look very much alike, the two women also live remarkably different lifestyles. While Hager is very much in the public eye, Bush prefers a high level of privacy.
The women have also chosen careers that really couldn’t be more different. Although Hager’s net worth is reported to be a lot higher that of her sister’s, she admitted to People, "I always kind of belittle myself next to my sister, just because she’s saving the world and I’m drinking pinot grigio." But Bush doesn’t see it that way. "Don’t be down on yourself," she told her twin. "You bring joy to people." In their own ways, both sisters bring joy to others. Here’s how the Bush twins manage to do so — and how much money they make in the process.
In February 2019, Page Six released an internal memo from NBC confirming who would be taking over for Today cohost Kathie Lee Gifford. The memo read: "We have some exciting news to share with you this morning. …Jenna will officially start her new role in April after we bid a fond farewell to Kathie Lee Gifford." As the memo outlined, Hager had already been working on the show for nearly a decade and had become "a fixture" in the NBC family.
As planned, Hager started her new job in spring 2019. And, for her first day, her twin sis prerecorded a sweet message for the new cohost. "It’s so incredible to me that she has found her voice, and loves using it… she shows her real self every single morning, which is wonderful," Bush said. Aww.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Hager received a large salary increase when she was appointed to cohost the show alongside Hoda Kotb. As of this writing, Hager reportedly earns a $4 million annual salary for her work on Today.
A teacher’s salary
Long before Hager would make her debut as cohost on the Today show and before even taking a job at NBC News, Variety reported that the former first daughter was working in education. Hager took a job as a teacher’s aide at the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School in Washington D.C. — a school she still loves. In an interview with The Washington Post, Hager revealed, "I may be slightly biased, but I don’t think there’s a greater school in D.C."
Soon after Hager married her husband Henry in 2008, the couple decided to relocate to Baltimore, Maryland. Hager began teaching at the SEED School of Maryland, a public boarding school, The Baltimore Sun reported. While still living in the city, she took on a role with NBC. By fall 2010, Hager left her teaching job and she and her husband relocated to New York — the home of the Today show. According to Entertainment Tonight, NBC reportedly paid Hager a $500,000 yearly salary — which is a lot more than a teacher’s salary, that’s for sure.
A New York Times bestselling author
In 2006, before Hager began teaching and before becoming a television correspondent, she published her first book, Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope. Hager penned the book that would become a New York Times bestseller after spending time in Latin America as a UNICEF intern. According to Harper Collins Publishers, Ana’s Story is "based on the life of a 17-year-old single mother with HIV who struggles to shield her child from the life she had of abuse and neglect."
It was when Hager appeared on the Today show to promote her book that she caught the attention of NBC executive Jim Bell. The Chicago Tribune revealed that the exec started considering the young woman as a future Today correspondent. We all know that Hager ultimately became a cohost of the show, of course, but she still works with UNICEF as the chair of the organization’s Next Generation program. The former first daughter also continues to write and is the co-author of several books.
An editor of this popular magazine
Hager’s career may sound pretty full already, but she has another title on her résumé. In 2012, Hager was hired as the editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine, a publication that reportedly "reaches more than 20 million people each month." According to an announcement from the publication’s Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Bierman (via USA Today), Hager was brought on as a quarterly contributor.
The former first daughter was thrilled to get the gig. "As a proud Texan, I grew up flipping through my mother’s copy of the magazine, dreaming of the dishes," Hager revealed in a statement provided to USA Today. "I’m excited to interview influential Southerners, explore iconic places, and show how the next generation of women entertain." Since starting with the magazine, Hager has certainly been able to interview some incredible people, like interior designer and former star of Fixer Upper Joanna Gaines, and A-list actress Reese Witherspoon.
While it’s not exactly known what Hager makes from her work as editor or as an author, Celebrity Net Worth estimates that all of Hager’s jobs have led to her having a net worth of around $10 million.
Barbara Pierce Bush joined the writing world too
It’s true that Bush doesn’t make as much money as her twin, but there has been some overlap in the two sisters’ careers. In 2017, Hager and Bush published the New York Times bestseller Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life. In a joint interview, Bush revealed that it took her a long time to agree to write the book alongside her sister. "I have intentionally been more private than my sister and that has been a choice and a decision," she explained.
When she finally did come on board, the two women would get together for long walks to decide on the subject material and then write the chapters separately. When coming back to compare their first drafts, Bush said it was "eery" but "not surprising" that she and her sister would end up writing almost the "exact same paragraphs."
The twins decided to team up once more to tell their story and published another book in February 2019. "It’s called Sisters First like our other book, but it’s a children’s book," Hager revealed on Today (via Town & Country).
This is Barbara’s full-time job
When discussing their first book, Bush explained that she and her sister weren’t able to write side-by-side because they both work full-time jobs. Unlike her sister who works in the television business, Bush is the CEO and cofounder of Global Health Corps. "Our mission is to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity," reads the company’s mission statement.
In an interview with Business Insider, Bush revealed more details about the company she founded in 2009. "We wanted to make sure that our own country was part of the conversation about global health issues in two ways — one, making sure that we’re not thinking of it as issues that affect other people that don’t have anything to do with us, but also acknowledging that we can learn so much from what has gone well or new models that are effective in other countries," she explained. Although she’s a former first daughter, she’s thinking beyond politics. "I think it’s interesting that health is political," she mused, "because I don’t think it should be. It’s such a basic need for every human to be able to live a full life."
An educational programming career
Before Bush would lead her own corporation, she attended Yale University and graduated in 2004 with a degree in humanities. "After college, I moved to South Africa and was working primarily with vulnerable children and many moms and kids who lacked access to basic health care," she said in an interview with HuffPost. "At the time, AIDS was still a major crisis throughout the continent of Africa, with thousands of people suffering from the disease, but only a few receiving the medicine and care they needed." Like her sister, she also interned with UNICEF.
Although access to health care has nearly always been important to Bush in her adult life, she once worked as an educational programer, according to the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The former first daughter accepted a job at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution. While there, she helped design programs for high school students and teachers throughout the nation.
She may really be "saving the world"
Despite her busy schedule, Bush has made time for ample charity work. The George W. Bush Presidential Center revealed that she serves on the board of directors for multiple organizations including the healthcare nonprofit PSI, Covenant House International — an organization that provides assistance to homeless youth — and the global health program Friends of the Global Fight for AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Additionally, Bush is part of UNICEF’s Next Generation Steering Committee and, in 2018, Bush received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship because of her work with Global Health Corps. You can now see why her sister credits Bush with "saving the world."
But, would she have been who she is today without her sister? She doesn’t think so. In an interview with Elle, Bush was asked which women had the biggest impact on her life. Bush’s "twin sister" — who is her "whole heart" — was high on that list. No, we’re not crying, you’re crying!
Both sisters have notable careers
Nonprofit work is not exactly known for its, well, profit. Still, Barbara Pierce Bush is doing more than just scraping by. Celebrity Net Worth estimates her net worth at around $5 million. Sure, she earns half as much as her sister, but television is perhaps always going to be a better paying gig. And, as someone who does not desire a life in the public eye, Bush probably isn’t jealous of her sister’s career. Instead, both sisters are able to have careers based on their respective passions — and Jenna Bush Hager thinks that may be, in part, because of their parents.
"Who we are is shaped by our parents, by who they make us feel like we can be," Hager revealed in an interview with Meredith Land. She continued, saying, "And I think particularly our mom tried to give us both what we were interested in, help us find what we were interested in, and give us this one-on-one time that’s important when you’re a twin." No doubt their parents are proud of both of their girls.