Kit Wisdom

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Kathleen Mathews "Kit" Wisdom​​

(Liberal political activist in
both major parties)​​

Born December 1, 1939​​
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died July 2020 (aged 80)​
Nashville, Tennessee

Alma mater:
Metairie Park County Day School
Louise S. McGehee School (New Orleans)
Pine Manor College (Massachusetts)​
Judge John Minor Wisdom, Sr., and the former Bonnie Mathews

Political Party Republican-turned-Democrat

Kathleen Mathews Wisdom, known as Kit Wisdom (December 1, 1939 – July 2020), was a liberal Republican political activist born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her father, U.S. District Judge John Minor Wisdom (1905-1999), also a liberal Republican, was appointed by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower , a Moderate Republican, to a seat on the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans. In that role, Wisdom supervised the desegregation of public schools in Orleans Parish in the late 1950s.

One of three children of Judge Wisdom and the former Bonnie Mathews, Kit Wisdom was educated at Metairie Park Country Day School in suburban Jefferson Parish,and the Louise S. McGehee School in New Orleans, the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, and Pine Manor College (now part of Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Beginning as a six-year-old, Kit won the "Blue Ribbon" of pleasure horsemanship in Audubon Park in New Orleans. She thereafter won numerous awards in horse shows. Later in life, she focused on riding as a therapeutic exercise, especially for children. She was also a participant in Mardi Gras as the Queen of Comus in 1960. In later years, she became a devotee of Jack Russell terrier dogs.[1]

As a twelve-year-old in 1952, Kit placed "I Like Ike" stickers in Audubon Stables. When she turned twenty-one, she registered with the Republican Party and was on the staff of the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida, which nominated the first Nixon-Agnew ticket. She is mentioned in the book The Boys on the Bus, an account of the presidential race that year by Timothy Crouse. Wisdom worked on Republican events with later U.S. Representative Newt Gingrich, formerly of Georgia, while Gingrich was a graduate student in history at Tulane University in New Orleans. She was a source for author Mel Steeley's biography of Gingrich, Gentleman from Georgia. While still living in New Orleans, she was a founding member of Jeunesse d'Orléans, an organization of young adults interested in cultural events, including a charity ball at the New Orleans Museum of Art in July 1965. When she relocated to New York City, she served on the staffs of two liberal Republican officials, U.S. Senator Jacob Javits and Mayor John V. Lindsay. She was a volunteer with the New York Police Department Mounted Unit. Later, she relocated from the Manhattan borough to the small New England town of Shrewsbury, Vermont, where she had space for horses, dogs, and cats. Like her mentor, Mayor Lindsay, she switched to the Democratic Party and became an acolyte of two-time Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders,[1] a U.S. Senator from Vermont who technically calls himself an Independent but is considered a socialist by most conservatives.

Wisdom was a practitioner of Chi Gong, a system of meditation, breathing, and movement similar to yoga, and the Alexander Technique to improve movement and balance.. She died at the age of eighty in Nashville, Tennessee.[1] There was no memorial service. Her obituary does not mention the specific date of death, any church affiliation, or place of interment or cremation.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kathleen Mathews Wisdom. The New Orleans Times-Picayune (July 18, 2020). Retrieved on July 21, 2020.