Jump to content

Lynne Cheney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lynne Cheney
Official portrait, 2005
Second Lady of the United States
In role
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
Vice PresidentDick Cheney
Preceded byTipper Gore
Succeeded byJill Biden
Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities
In office
May 21, 1986 – January 20, 1993
PresidentRonald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Preceded byJohn Agresto (acting)
Succeeded byJerry L. Martin (acting)
Personal details
Lynne Ann Vincent

(1941-08-14) August 14, 1941 (age 82)
Casper, Wyoming, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
(m. 1964)
EducationColorado College (BA)
University of Colorado Boulder (MA)
University of Wisconsin–Madison (PhD)

Lynne Ann Cheney (/ˈni/ CHAY-nee; née Vincent; born August 14, 1941) is an American author, scholar, and former talk show host. She is married to the 46th vice president of the United States, Dick Cheney, and served as the second lady of the United States from 2001 to 2009. She is the oldest living former Second Lady, following the death of Barbara Bush in 2018.

Childhood and education[edit]

Lynne Ann Vincent was born on August 14, 1941, in Casper, Wyoming. Her mother, Edna Lolita (née Lybyer, 1919–1973),[1] became a deputy sheriff, and her father, Wayne Edwin Vincent, was an engineer. A descendant of Mormon pioneers, and with ancestral roots in Denmark, Sweden, England, Ireland, and Wales,[2][3] she was raised Presbyterian and became Methodist upon her marriage to Dick Cheney.[2]

Cheney received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature with highest honors from Colorado College. She continued her education with a Master of Arts degree from the University of Colorado Boulder, and a PhD in 19th-century British literature from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[4][5] Her dissertation was entitled "Matthew Arnold's Possible Perfection: A Study of the Kantian Strain in Arnold's Poetry".[5]

Early career[edit]

Cheney served as the sixth chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from 1986 to 1993.[6] In 1995, she founded the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a think tank devoted to reforming higher education.[7]

She is a senior fellow in education and culture at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. She also serves as a director of Reader's Digest Association, Inc. From 1995 to 1998, Cheney served as the co-host of the Sunday edition of CNN's Crossfire, replacing Tony Snow.[8]

Cheney served on Lockheed Corporation's board of directors from 1994 to 2001. She gave up the $120,000-a-year position shortly before her husband's inauguration. She had served on the Lockheed board's finance, and nominating and corporate governance committees.[9][10]

In 2000, she was mentioned as a possible conservative female pick for Republican vice presidential nominee on the George W. Bush ticket.[citation needed] The appointed head of the nominating committee was her husband, Dick Cheney, then the CEO of Halliburton, who eventually emerged as Bush's choice.

National history standards[edit]

In the early 1990s when heading the NEH, Cheney advocated voluntary national history standards for the nation's high school students and announced plans to create them.[11] In 1994 shortly before the standards were to be released, Cheney, who was aghast at the results, wrote an opinion for The Wall Street Journal she titled The End of History,[12] where she "set off a firestorm," according to Gary B. Nash who headed the standards effort.[11] Cheney followed with another opinion, The End of History, Part II in 2015.[13] As of the early 2020s, her reversal is still cited in the discussion and controversy surrounding The 1619 Project.[14]

Later career[edit]

As second lady, she repeatedly spoke out against violent and sexually explicit lyrics in popular music, including those of rapper Eminem, picking up on an issue that was originally made famous by former vice president Al Gore and his wife Tipper. She also criticized video game developers for similar content.[15]

On an October 10, 2007, episode of The Daily Show, Cheney stated her opposition to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Her daughter Mary identifies as lesbian and both Lynne Cheney and her husband Dick have publicly supported same-sex marriage during and after his vice presidency.


Lynne Cheney married Richard Cheney in 1964. They have two daughters and seven grandchildren. Their daughters are Elizabeth Cheney (born July 28, 1966), and Mary Cheney (born on March 14, 1969).

Lynne Cheney has one brother, Mark Vincent, who lives in Wyoming with his wife, Linda.

Wyoming U.S. Senate seat vacancy[edit]

Cheney was considered a possible contender to complete the term of Craig L. Thomas as U.S. senator from Wyoming following his death in 2007.[16] A spokesman stated[when?] that she was considering the post but she never signed an application to become a candidate. Cheney herself acknowledged in a 2015 interview that she had considered running for the senate seat.[17] If she had won the seat, she would have become the first former second lady to be a member of the Senate since Muriel Humphrey was appointed Senator from Minnesota after her husband's death in 1978.

In popular culture[edit]

Cheney criticized Eminem in September 2000 for his promotion of "violence of the most degrading kind against women",[18] in response to which he mockingly referenced Lynne and Dick Cheney (and his recurring heart problems) in the 2002 song "Without Me".[19][20] Cheney was portrayed by Amy Adams in the 2018 film Vice, a biopic about Dick Cheney. In this political satire, she is portrayed as a sly driving force and a source of inspiration and support behind her husband's political career.[21]


Cheney giving a public reading from her book America: A Patriotic Primer to the students of Vicenza Elementary School in Vicenza, Italy (2004)

Lynne Cheney is the author or co-author of several books.


  • Executive Privilege: A Washington Novel (1979) (ISBN 0-671-24060-9)
  • Sisters (1981). New American Library (now part of Penguin Random House). (ISBN 0-451-11204-0)
  • The Body Politic: A Novel (2000), co-authored with Victor Gold (ISBN 0-312-97963-0)


  • Kings of the Hill: Power and Personality in the House of Representatives (1983), co-authored with husband Dick Cheney. New York City: Continuum. (ISBN 0-8264-0230-5)
  • American Memory: A Report on the Humanities in the Nation's Public Schools (1987) (ISBN 0-16-004284-4)
  • Academic Freedom (1992) (ISBN 1-878802-13-5)
  • Telling the Truth: Why Our Country and Our Culture Have Stopped Making Sense—and What We Can Do About It (1995) (ISBN 0-684-82534-1)
  • Kings of the Hill: How Nine Powerful Men Changed the Course of American History (1996), co-authored with Dick Cheney. Revised edition of Kings of the Hill published in 1983 by Continuum. The major difference is an added chapter on Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. New York City: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster (ISBN 0-684-82340-3)
  • America: A Patriotic Primer (2002) (ISBN 0-689-85192-8)
  • A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women (2003) (ISBN 0-689-85819-1)
  • When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots (2004) (ISBN 0-689-87043-4)
  • A Time for Freedom: What Happened When in America (2005) (ISBN 1-4169-0925-7)
  • Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America (2006) (ISBN 0-689-86717-4)
  • Blue Skies, No Fences: A Memoir of Childhood and Family (2007) (ISBN 978-1-4165-3288-0)
  • We the People: The Story of Our Constitution (2008) (ISBN 1-4169-5418-X)
  • James Madison: A Life Reconsidered (2014) (ISBN 978-0-670-02519-0)
  • The Virginia Dynasty: Four Presidents and the Creation of the American Nation (2020) (ISBN 9781101980040)


  1. ^ "Vincent rites pending". Casper Star Tribune. May 26, 1973. Retrieved December 29, 2018 – via makleen.
  2. ^ a b Davidson, Lee (January 22, 2006). "Lynne Cheney's ancestors". Deseret News. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  3. ^ "Ancestry of Lynne Vincent Cheney". William Addams Reitwiesner. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  4. ^ Werner, Leslie Maitland (June 12, 1986). "Working Profile: Lynne V. Cheney; Of Humilities and Humanities". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Stuck In The Sixties: Conservatives and the Legacies of the 1960s – George Rising
  6. ^ Battiata, Mary (May 22, 1986). "Cheney Wins NEH Post". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  7. ^ Eakin, Emily (November 24, 2001). "On the Lookout For Patriotic Incorrectness". Arts. The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "Lynne Cheney bio". CNN. 1997. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  9. ^ Gray, Geoffrey (March 19, 2003). "USA: Inside Lockheed's $250 Billion Pentagon Connection". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007 – via CorpWatch.
  10. ^ Vice president-elect's wife steps down from Lockheed board, Washington Business Journal – January 5, 2001
  11. ^ a b Manzo, Kathleen Kennedy (June 16, 2004). "Cheney Strives to Keep Putting Her Stamp on History". Education Week. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  12. ^ Cheney, Lynne V. (October 20, 1994). "The End of History" (PDF). The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Co. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  13. ^ Cheney, Lynne V. (April 1, 2015). "The End of History, Part II". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Co. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  14. ^ Silverstein, Jake (November 9, 2021). "The 1619 Project and the Long Battle Over U.S. History". The New York Times. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  15. ^ Lynne Cheney blasts Gore comments on media violence – CNN.com Archived October 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Bresnahan, John (June 7, 2007). "Lynne Cheney, Susan Thomas floated as possible replacements for late Sen. Craig Thomas". Politico Now Blog. Politico. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  17. ^ Slen, Peter (September 6, 2015). "In Depth with Lynne Cheney". C-SPAN. 1:09:20. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  18. ^ Mancini, Rob (September 13, 2000). "Eminem Targeted At Senate Hearing". MTV News. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  19. ^ "Eminem Explains His Disses Of Moby & Chris Kirkpatrick In 'Without Me'". Top40-Charts.com. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  20. ^ "Eminem Goes After Moby, Limp Bizkit On 'Without Me'". MTV News. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  21. ^ Scott, A. O. (December 17, 2018). "'Vice' Review: Dick Cheney and the Negative Great Man Theory of History". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 10, 2019.

Additional sources[edit]

  • Joe Mandak. "Lynn Cheney Upset With Kerry Over Remark" Associated Press. October 14, 2004.
  • Ian Bishop and Deborah Orin. "Veep to Kerry: How Dare You! – 'Angry Dad' Hits Foe for Naming Gay Daughter" New York Post. October 15, 2004.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Second Lady of the United States
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former Vice President Order of precedence of the United States
as Former Second Lady
Succeeded byas Former Vice President