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MSNBC TV
updated 7/29/2013 2:48:02 PM ET 2013-07-29T18:48:02

For years, Congresswoman Boggs was the only white member of Congress representing a majority black district, a distinction she earned by her life-long commitment to civil rights.

America lost a great lady over the weekend: 97-year-old Lindy Boggs, an early champion of women’s rights and civil rights, passed away in her suburban Washington home. Born on a Louisiana plantation, Mrs. Boggs became a key political adviser to her husband, who was first elected in 1940 and rose to become the House Majority Leader, until he was lost in an Alaska plane crash in 1973.

She was elected to finish her husband’s term in Congress and then re-elected to serve nearly 18 years.

Later, President Clinton sent her to the Vatican as the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, where she used her same charm and diplomatic skills that made her such an effective politician.

For years, Congresswoman Boggs was the only white member of Congress representing a majority black district, a distinction she earned by her life-long commitment to civil rights.

When women first got equal access to bank loans and home mortgages, that was all thanks to Lindy Boggs’ service on the House Banking Committee.

Our thoughts today are with her daughter, ABC’s Cokie Roberts, and the entire family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was truly one of a kind.

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