Lorraine (Rowan) Cooper, 1906-1985
The daughter of Robert Arnold Rowan and of Laura Madeline (Schwarz) Rowan (later the Princess Orsini), Lorraine (Rowan) Cooper was born in Pasadena, California, on December 18, 1906. She was educated at the Westbridge School in Pasadena, at St. Timothy's School in Stephenson, Maryland, and at Miss Nixon and Miss Sheldon's School in Florence, Italy. She was a volunteer worker for the Inter-American Affairs Council in New York City (1943-1946) and at the first United Nations conference in San Francisco in 1945.
Two marriages, to Robert McAdoo and Thomas Shevlin, ended in divorce; in 1955 LRC married Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky and the couple departed immediately for India and Nepal, where JSC was ambassador. They returned to the U.S. in 1956; JSC served in the Senate from 1957 to 1973 and was among the Republican Senators who opposed the widening of the Vietnam War into Cambodia in 1970. From 1974 to 1976 the Coopers lived in East Berlin, where JSC was the first official U.S. representative to the German Democratic Republic. The couple had no children.
For many years LRC wrote a Washington newsletter for Kentucky newspapers, which appeared as a column in as many as seventy papers at a time. In it she reported to JSC's constituents on Washington pageantry and on cultural and social events, but true to her expressed philosophy of appropriate behavior for a Senator's wife, she rarely strayed out of the realm of the personal and ceremonial. Similarly, when she spoke she focussed on issues traditionally of concern to women and tended not to take open political stands.
LRC was a member of the National Society of Arts and Letters and the American Newspaper Women's Club. She served on the boards of directors of The Asia Foundation (San Francisco), The Asia Society (New York), and the Frontier Nursing Service of Kentucky. She was also an influential social personage among the powerful of both parties; her invitations were prized, as Patricia Moore of the Chicago Daily News Service noted, "no matter who [was running] the government."
LRC died in Washington, D.C., on February 3, 1985.
From the guide to the Papers, 1936-1983, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)
|creatorOf||Papers, 1936-1983||Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|United States. Congress. Senate|
|China--Social life and customs|