Photo of Lindy Boggs

Photo of Lindy Boggs

Lindy Boggs (NC ’35) By Emily Kreller (LA ’26)

Marie Corinne “Lindy” Morrison Claiborne Boggs was no stranger to making history at local, state, federal, and international levels as the first woman from Louisiana elected to serve in the United States Congress, the first woman to chair a political convention, and the first woman to act as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

Before she began her impressive career, Boggs attended Newcomb College, enrolling at only 15 years old. While at Newcomb, she served as the women’s editor for The Tulane Hullaballoo, and it was during this time that she met her husband, Thomas Hale Boggs. After graduating in 1935, Boggs worked as a school teacher while Hale attended Tulane Law School, earning his Juris Doctor in 1937.

Boggs entered the political realm in 1940 when she began organizing her husband’s campaigns for his seat in the United States House of Representatives. As manager of Hale’s Capitol Hill office, Boggs quickly became an admired and valuable player in D.C.’s political scene. Hale served as the U.S. Representative for Jefferson Parish until his tragic disappearance in 1972, and upon a special election for her husband’s seat the following year, Lindy Boggs was elected as U.S. Representative, a seat she would hold for almost 20 years. During her tenure in Congress, Boggs added the provision that banned discrimination due to sex or marital status to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, and was the only white Congressional Member representing a majority-Black voter district at the time. In 1976, Boggs served as the chair of the Democratic National Convention.

Boggs declined to run for re-election in 1990 to take care of her terminally ill daughter, but her legacy is seen in many forms. The women’s meeting room in the U.S. Capitol is named after Boggs, making it the only room in the building named after a woman, and she received 19 honorary degrees and innumerable awards, including the Outstanding Alumna Award from the Newcomb Alumnae Association in 1976.