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Maritime labor is mourning the loss of Lindy Boggs, former Congresswoman from Louisiana, who in addition to her work on behalf of civil rights and women’s issues, was a leading advocate for a strong U.S. merchant marine.

Boggs, who was 97 at the time of her death, was the wife of the late Hale Boggs, a former House Majority Leader, and the mother of three children, including Cokie Roberts of ABC News and NPR.  As the New York Times wrote:

“Born as Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne, the woman who became known as Lindy Boggs was bestowed with the privileges of life as a daughter of a successful lawyer, the stepdaughter of a plantation-owner, and later the wife of a powerful lawmaker. But she was also the first woman elected to Congress from Louisiana, and emerged as a leading figure in the civil-rights movement and a champion of economic equality for women.”

An indispensable part of her husband’s influential political machine, she ran and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1973 after his disappearance in a plane trip over Alaska. She served 18 years in the House, chaired the 1976 Democratic Convention (the first woman to do so) and was appointed ambassador to the Vatican.

For maritime workers across the nation, including those at the Port of New Orleans, she is best known for her advocacy of a strong US-flag merchant marine.

In addition to fighting to preserve the Jones Act and other maritime programs, she introduced the Boggs Bulk Bill, which, had it been enacted, would have given the U.S.-flag bulk fleet a big boost.

“All workers owe a great debt to Lindy Boggs,” said MTD President Michael Sacco. “Workers in the maritime industry benefitted from her strong support of the U.S. maritime industry. She was a dear friend and will be missed.”