Corrine "Lindy" Boggs (1916 - )

lindy boggs

Future Congresswoman Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne was born on Brunswick Plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, on March 13, 1916.  She received her B.A. from Sophie Newcomb College at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1935 and worked for a while as a history teacher.  She married Hale Boggs in 1938. 

Two years later, when Boggs was only twenty-four and her husband was twenty-six, they moved to Washington, D.C. when he was elected to the House of Representatives from Louisiana.  During the years her husband served in Congress, Boggs raised their three children, worked as her husband’s campaign manager, managed his Capitol Hill office, chaired various committees, such as both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson’s inaugural ball committees, innovated a bill-tracking system for her husband to use at a time when no such system existed, and did community work in New Orleans. 

When her husband died in a plane crash in 1972, Boggs ran in the special election to fill his seat.  She won, making her the first woman to represent Louisiana in Congress and only one of fourteen women in Congress at the time.  Boggs won several consecutive elections and served in Congress from 1973 to 1990, the year she retired.  In Congress, she spearheaded legislation on various issues, ranging from civil rights to women’s access to credit in their own names, to government service pay equity for women.    

In 1997, President Bill Clinton appointed her official U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, a position she held until 2001.  Since leaving the House, Boggs also lectured frequently at Tulane University and the University of New Orleans and established the Hale and Lindy Boggs Center for Legislative Affairs, at Georgetown University Law School.  Boggs also held the distinction of being the first woman to become chairperson of the Democratic National Convention and to serve as regent of the Smithsonian Institution. 
All of Bogg’s children have become prominent citizens in their own right.  Tommy Boggs is a prominent attorney and lobbyist, the late Barbara Boggs Sigmond served as mayor of Princeton, New  Jersey and ran for the 1982 New Jersey senatorial nomination in 1982, and Cokie Roberts is a journalist for NPR and ABC-TV.



Additional Resources:

Web Sites:


  • Boggs, Lindy, with Katherine Hatch. Washington Through a Purple Veil: Memoirs of a Southern Woman. New York: Harcourt Brace and Co., 1994
  • Ferrell, Thomas H., and Judith Haydel. “Hale and Lindy Boggs: Louisiana’s National Democrats.” Louisiana History 35 (Fall 1994): 389-402.

Works Cited:

  • "Boggs, Corinne Claiborne," Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, n.d., (4 January 2006).
  • “Lindy Boggs,” Soylent Communications, 2005, (4 January 2006).
  • Nancy Pelosi, “Legislation Honoring Corinne “Lindy” Claiborne Boggs on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Founding of the Congressional Women’s Caucus,” 22 July 2002,  (4  January 2006).
  • “Southern Women in Public Service,” Stennis Center for Public Service, n.d., (4 January 2006). 
  • Image from Tulane University