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Lynne Cheney

Lynne CheneyAKA Lynne Ann Vincent

Born: 14-Aug-1941
Birthplace: Casper, WY

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: First Lady
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wife of US Vice President Dick Cheney

Lynne Vincent Cheney is the wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, but she is as politically active as he. She has said that the first time he lobbied for votes was to make her homecoming queen her senior year at Natrona County High School. She won. Former classmate and future Wyoming Secretary of State Joseph Mayer said Cheney (Lynne, not Dick) "was probably the brightest person in our class."[1]

In 1986 President Ronald Reagan appointed Lynne Cheney to the National Endowment for Humanities. At the time, the National Endowment for the Arts was caught up in a controversy regarding photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, and Cheney deftly steered the NEH into less disruptive areas. She had the rules rewritten for grants, causing complaints from professors that she had imposed her political views on the agency. The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton actually pulled out of two grants, refusing to give up "academic autonomy and integrity." She left the NEH in 1993, after Bill Clinton became president.[2]

In a 2000 interview with ABC's Cokie Roberts, when Roberts brought up Mary Cheney, the Cheneys' lesbian daughter, Cheney simply lied. "Mary has never declared such a thing," she said. "I would like to say that I'm appalled at the media interest in one of my daughters. They are bright; they are hardworking; they are decent. And I simply am not going to talk about their personal lives. And I'm surprised, Cokie, that even you would want to bring it up on this program." At the time, Mary Cheney had been "out" for approximately ten years, and she was working for Coors Brewing Company as liaison to the gay community.[3]

As Second Lady, Cheney objected to a booklet printed for parents to teach their children US history; 300,000 copies were destroyed. She has written numerous patriotic historical books for children, and is quoted as saying that in public schools, students learn "more about Joseph McCarthy than George Washington, more about the Indian chief Speckled Snake than Thomas Edison."

Cheney is the author of several novels, including Sisters, a 1981 western with a titillating lesbian subplot.[4] Her 1988 novel Body Politic is about the death of a US Vice President in his girlfriend's "carnal embrace", and how the White House, desperate to avoid scandal, hides his death. Body Politic ends with the Vice President's wife becoming the new Vice President.

[1] Susan Schmidt, "She'll Be Hard to Muzzle", The Washington Post, 29 July 2000. Recollection by her classmate Joseph Meyer, who later became Wisconsin Secretary of State.

[2] Mary Jacoby, "Madame Cheney's Cultural Revolution: How the Vice President's Powerful Wife Makes Sure That Historians and Other Scholars Follow the Right Path.",, 26 August 2004, covers this in some detail: "Many worthy scholarly or educational pursuits are receiving support, though only if they meet conservative approval. The issue, rather, is what's not being funded, which viewpoints are being excluded, and what critical-thinking tools for students are being suppressed at a time when it is more important than ever to understand (and thus counteract) the dangerous global rise in hostility toward America." See John Frohnmayer, Leaving Town Alive: Confessions of an Arts Warrior (1993) for a Republican perspective which backs up this view: "Lynne Cheney was much more interested in the conservative audience out there. And that does great damage to the First Amendment."

[3] David D. Kirkpatrick, "Cheney Daughter's Political Role Disappoints Some Gay Activists", The New York Times, 30 August 2004.

[4] "Publisher Cancels Reissue of Racy Novel by Lynne Cheney", Associated Press, 3 April 2004, carried in USA Today: "New American Library, an imprint of Penguin Group, was going to reprint Sisters, a historical romance published in 1981 that includes brothels, attempted rapes and a lesbian love affair."

Father: Wayne Edwin Vincent (reclamation bureau worker, b. 3-Jul-1915)
Mother: Edna Lolita Lybyer (deputy sheriff, b. 8-Apr-1919, m. 22-Nov-1940, d. 24-May-1973)
Dick Cheney (b. 30-Jan-1941, m. 29-Aug-1964, two daughters)
Daughter: Mary Cheney (lesbian activist)
Daughter: Liz Cheney (US State Department bureaucrat)

    High School: Natrona County High School, Casper, WY
    University: BA English, Colorado College
    University: MA, University of Colorado
    University: PhD, University of Wisconsin

    National Endowment for the Humanities (1986-93)
    American Council of Trustees and Alumni Co-Founder (1995)
    American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow
    Bush-Cheney 2000
    George W. Bush for President
    Grow PAC
    Independent Women's Forum
    Kay Bailey Hutchison for Senate
    Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority
    Phi Beta Kappa Society Colorado College, 1962
    Dubya Ranch Hand Jan-2001
    Funeral: Katharine Graham (2001)
    Funeral: Ronald Reagan (2004)
    Funeral: Gerald Ford (2007)
    Funeral: Margaret Thatcher (2013)

Official Website:

Author of books:
Sisters (1981, novel, Signet Canadian Paperback, lesbian themed)
Blue Skies, No Fences: A Memoir of Childhood and Family (2007, memoir)

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