Boggs, Hale, 1914-1972. | Tulane University Special Collections

Name: Boggs, Hale, 1914-1972.
Variant Name: Thomas Hale Boggs

Historical Note:

Thomas Hale Boggs was born in 1914 in Long Beach, Miss.  He received his B.A. degree in journalism from Tulane University in 1935, and graduated from Tulane Law School in 1937.  In 1938, he married Corinne ("Lindy") Morrison Claiborne and had three children; Barbara Boggs Sigmund (1939-1990, former mayor of Princeton, New Jersey), Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr. (1941-, a Washington DC-based lawyer and lobbyist), and Cokie Roberts (1943-, a journalist who often appears on ABC and NPR). In 1940 he successfully ran as a Democratic candidate for Congress from the Second Louisiana District, which included most of New Orleans and four adjacent parishes.  He was defeated in his bid for reelection in 1942 and returned to private practice, and enlisted in the naval reserve.  Returning to politics after World War II, Boggs won back his congressional seat.  He rose steadily in the ranks of House leadership, becoming Majority Whip in 1962 and House Majority Leader in 1971.

Boggs' positions on civil rights issues evolved during his career. Although an early opponent of civil rights legislation, he later voted in favor of the Voting Rights Act (1965) and the Fair Housing Act (1968). He was a member of the Warren Commission, which investigated President Kennedy's assassination. He also served on the  Boggs chaired the 1968 Platform Committee at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Boggs publicly denounced J. Edgar Hoover (FBI director) and called for his resignation in a short speech to Congress in 1971. While flying from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, his plane disappeared on Oct. 16, 1972.  The plane was never found, and Boggs and three others were presumed dead. His wife, Lindy, was elected to succeed him and held his seat until 1991.

More information about Boggs can be found at

Sources: Manuscripts Collection 1000
Note Author: LAC Group, EMT

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