Boggs was born on the Brunswick Plantation near New Roads in Pointe Coupee Parish in South Louisiana. She attended Newcomb College at Tulane University in New Orleans. She was a second cousin of deLesseps Story “Chep” Morrison, Sr., the former mayor of New Orleans, Ambassador to the Organization of American States, and three-time candidate for governor of Louisiana who for a time was her husband’s law partner. On October 16, 1972, Representative Hale Boggs’ twin-engine Cessna plane disappeared over Alaska. Boggs was helping a colleague, Nicholas Begich, father of current U.S. Senator Mark Begich of Alaska, to campaign for reelection. The first bill that the House passed in 1973, House Resolution 1, officially recognized Hale Boggs’ death and created the need for a special election. Lindy Boggs ran successfully as a Democrat for her husband’s vacated seat in Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district, based about New Orleans.
Boggs was elected to a full term in 1974 with 82 percent of the vote and was reelected seven times thereafter until she vacated her office in January 1991. In 1980, she faced her closest challenge from the Republican Rob Couhig, an attorney-businessman who raised some $200,000 for the race, a large amount at that time for a challenger in a difficult district. Lindy Boggs still prevailed, 45,091 votes (63.8 percent) to Couhig’s 25,512 (36.2 percent). Otherwise, Boggs polled more than 80 percent in her contested races. In her four final campaigns, she ran without opposition even though the district had been redrawn with an African American majority following the 1980 United States.
In 1994, Boggs was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield, one year after her husband had been among the original thirteen inductees. In 1997, President Bill Clinton appointed her official U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, a position she held until 2001. In 2005, Boggs’s home on Bourbon Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter sustained moderate wind damage from Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, she was awarded the Congressional Distinguished Service Award for her time in the House of Representatives.
Boggs was a member of Sigma Gamma Rho, one of the four traditionally African-American sororities in the United States. The Boggs Center for Energy and Biotechnology Building at Tulane is named in her honor. Boggs died of natural causes at her home in Chevy Chase, Maryland on July 27, 2013. A funeral Mass was held on August 1, 2013 at St. Louis Cathedral at 615 Pere Antoine Alley in New Orleans. Interment followed later in the day at St. Mary’s Cemetery in New Roads. Governor Bobby Jindal ordered all U.S. and state flags in Louisiana to fly at half staff until August 2 in Mrs. Boggs’ memory.
- March, 13, 1916
- New Roads, Louisiana
- July, 27, 2013
- Chevy Chase, Maryland
- Saint Marys Cemetery
- New Roads, Louisiana