Boggs moved to Washington in 1941, when her husband was elected to Congress. After his plane disappeared on a campaign trip through Alaska, she ran for his seat and won, becoming the first woman elected to Congress from her state.
The former congresswoman became Louisiana's first woman member of Congress in 1972. She was elected after her husband, then House majority leader Hale Boggs, died in a plane crash. Boggs was an advocate for civil rights and women's issues before her retirement in 1990. She is the mother of NPR and ABC-TV's Cokie Roberts, Washington lobbyist Thomas Hale Boggs, and the late Barbara Sigmund, who was mayor of Princeton, New Jersey. Boggs has new autobiography is called "Washington Through a Purple Veil: Memoirs of a Southern Woman."