Image courtesy of National Archives and Records AdministrationRepresentative Corrine “Lindy” Boggs of Louisiana was one of many women elected to Congress under the widow’s mandate—succeeding their late husbands in office. Unlike most widows who served just brief terms, however, Boggs represented her New Orleans district for 18 years and held important committee posts.
Representative Corinne “Lindy” Boggs of Louisiana, an advocate for women’s equality and the preservation of House history, was born in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Hailing from a family with long political roots in Louisiana, she studied to be a teacher and eventually married her college sweetheart, Hale Boggs, in 1938. Following her husband’s election to the House in 1940 and his subsequent ascent up the leadership ladder, Lindy Boggs served as his political confidante and campaign surrogate. When Majority Leader Hale Boggs’s plane vanished over the Alaska wilderness during a campaign tour in 1972, Democratic leaders prevailed upon her to fill his vacant seat representing New Orleans. She won the March 20, 1973, special election and eventually served a total of nine terms. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Boggs advanced women’s causes in the workplace, education, and credit. “Almost all women’s issues are economic issues,” she once noted. “Women vote their pocketbooks . . . it boils down to that.” Congresswoman Boggs also chaired two panels: the Joint Committee on Bicentennial Arrangements and the Commission on the Bicentenary of the U.S. House of Representatives.