Tommy boggs obituary /\ Thomas Hale Boggs (1914–1972) served as a U.S. Representative for Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district, and his wife, Lindy Boggs (1916–2013), served as her husband’s successor before becoming the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican under President Bill Clinton. Cokie Roberts (1943-2019), a journalist and news commentator, and Barbara Boggs Sigmund (1939-1990), the mayor of Princeton, New Jersey, were among his siblings.
Boggs, a Democrat, started out as an attorney in New Orleans before making the journey to the nation’s capital. He started working for James R. Patton Jr.’s law and lobbying company, which is now known as Squire Patton Boggs. Boggs served as the senior partner in the company. While working with Patton Boggs, he became well-known for lobbying on significant matters such as:Boggs ran for Congress from Maryland’s 8th district against incumbent Republican Gilbert Gude in 1970, but he lost.
Democratic incumbent Jamie Raskin presently serves as the district’s representative. It appears that Boggs had a heart attack on September 15, 2014, three days before his 74th birthday. His grave can be found at the venerable Congressional Cemetery in the nation’s capital.
“He was one of the smartest individuals I’ve ever known and one who had an ongoing devotion to recognizing how government works and teaching it to others,” said former U.S. Senator John Breaux of Louisiana, who worked for Boggs’ firm after leaving the Senate in 2005.
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Washington lobbyist Thomas H. Boggs Jr. passed away on September 15 at his home in Chevy Chase. His tireless networking, deft hand at dealmaking, and extensive ties to American politics had placed him at the center of the city’s power structure. He was 73.
Cokie Roberts, a TV journalist and his sister, reported he died of a heart attack.
Mr. Boggs’ mother, also named Lindy, served in Congress for nine terms, and his father, also known as Hale, attained to the position of Democratic majority leader in the U.S. House. As a young man, “Tommy” Boggs worked as the elevator operator for then-House Speaker Sam Rayburn (a Democrat from Texas).
Mr. Boggs was acquainted with presidents, cabinet secretaries, and members of Congress, and often knew their staffs better than they did. From the 1940s onward, he joined the ranks of Thomas “Tommy the Cork” Corcoran and Clark M. Clifford as Washington’s most prominent legal and political consultant. They were both close friends of the family.
Beginning in the late 1960s, when lobbying was often the work of a single individual or a small trade group, Mr. Boggs helped expand the industry into a multibillion dollar industry that seeks access to, and ultimately regulatory action on, a wide range of public policy issues. He was an early proponent of what has become known as the “revolving door” practice of recruiting high-profile persons (such as former members of Congress) in order to quickly gain access to the appropriate people.
At this 2012 photo, Thomas H. Boggs Jr., head of the law and lobbying firm Patton Boggs, is seen at work in his office. Featured image credit: (Jeffrey MacMillan/For The Washington Post)
Mr. Boggs was known as a “hired gun” because he charged more than $550 per hour for his services. He never raised any objections. However, he tacked up the magazine article that proclaimed him “an icon of Washington’s mercenary culture” on the wall of his office.
As an example, he famously stated, “We chose our customers by picking the first one who comes in the door.” This joke contributed to the worst stereotypes about lobbying. When asked by a different interviewer, he continued, “We don’t get paid to be philosophers.”
Mr. Boggs was a heavyweight in Washington influence peddling for more than four decades thanks to his self-awareness and ebullient personality, which even his nemeses within good-government groups found hard to resist. On occasion, he would go to as many as three separate benefit events in one evening.
He was astute at navigating the inner workings of the city as he was at raising money for political campaigns, and he knew exactly who to talk to in order to gain the support of those in power. Although he lost his 1970 bid to represent suburban Maryland in the U.S.
House of Representatives, the experience only deepened his empathy for political hopefuls and those who have endured political defeat. Whether it was his birthright as a politician or the insight gained from his intimate working ties, he spoke colorfully of the pleasure he took in being among politicians and their capacity to solve difficult problems.
Members of Congress work their pant legs off, he once told The Washington Post. Says someone about the members of Congress: “Put all 535 of them up against the top folks who sit around business boards, and I’d pick the congressmen any day.”
Charles Lewis, author of books on money in politics and founder of the nonprofit watchdog group the Center for Public Integrity, said that by the time Mr. Boggs was in his mid-30s, he had reached the pinnacle of his influence in the wake of Watergate-era reforms that saw a “explosion and diffusion” of committee oversight and power.