Ship Sponsor

Kate Lehrer, the sponsor of the USS Wichita

Kate Lehrer, the sponsor of the USS Wichita

Kate Lehrer was selected by the secretary of the Navy to be the ship’s sponsor. Her duties include not only the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle on the ship’s bow, but she also is expected to remain in contact with the ship’s crew and be involved in special events throughout the life of the ship.


By tradition, the person chosen to be a ship sponsor is a woman who is considered a permanent member of the crew and imparts her personality on the ship. Kate Lehrer is a nationally known author and wife of Wichita native Jim Lehrer, the former anchor of “The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour” on PBS.


Kate Lehrer was born in Waco, Texas, the daughter of a county extension agent and a social worker. She attended Texas Christian University and married Jim Lehrer in 1960. The couple lives in Washington, D.C. She is a writer, novelist, and book reviewer – also often a panelist on the Diane Rehm Book Club on National Public Radio.

I am hoping it can be used on good missions – to save people or to help our country. It will do what our country needs for it to do.