Today, we remember Sonny Bono. He died yesterday afternoon in a skiing accident. He was 62. Bono was completing his second term in the U.S. Congress. He was the second most-requested speaker at House members events during the 1996 campaign season. Although he ended up in politics, many of his know him best for his work in music and show business. Terry Gross spoke with him in 1991, three years before he was elected to Congress. (Rebroadcast of 7/17 and 7/18 1991).
Bono first gained national fame as half of the "Sonny and Cher" entertainment couple. The two were married but later divorced. Prior to that, Bono worked as a songwriter. He later entered politics and was elected as Mayor of Palm Springs, California from 1988-1992. In 1994, As a Republican from California's 44th Congressional District he was elected to the U.S House of Representatives. Earlier this month, he won re-election to Congress. This interview was originally aired 7/17 and 7/18 in 1991.
Chaz Bono is the child of Sonny Bono and Cher. In 1990 Star Magazine "outed" Bono as a lesbian. Since then Bono has become an outspoken advocate for lesbian and gay rights. Bono was the former spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, a national lesbian and gay political organization. Bono is now Entertainment Media Director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.