“Here we are, so different from each other,” she added, “with no common history or religion or ethnicity or even language these days, and what brings us together is the Constitution and the institutions that it created. And the first among those is Congress. The very word means coming together. And the fact that messily and humorously and all of that, it happens — it doesn’t happen all the time, and it doesn’t always happen well, but it happens — is a miracle.”
Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs was born on Dec. 27, 1943, in New Orleans. She said that her brother, Tommy, invented her nickname because he couldn’t say “Corinne.”
She, her brother and her sister, Barbara, were immersed in political life, accompanying their father on campaign trips, attending ceremonial functions and witnessing the discussions when other political leaders would come to dinner.
“Our parents did not have the children go away when the grown-ups came,” Ms. Roberts said. “In retrospect, I’ve sometimes wondered, ‘What did those people think to have all these children around all the time?’ But we were around, and it was great for us.”
Although her father had considerable influence on her, so did her mother, who was active in furthering her father’s career, along with other women she came to know, like Lady Bird Johnson.
“I was very well aware of the influence of these women,” she said, adding, “I very much grew up with a sense, from them, that women could do anything, and that they could sort of do a whole lot of things at the same time.”
The author of eight books, Ms. Roberts explored in many of them the role of women in shaping the country, with titles like “We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters” (1998) and “Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation” (2008).