|Yumi Hogan, our lovely new First Lady of Maryland|
The love story of Larry and Yumi Hogan received scant attention during last year’s contentious race for Maryland’s governorship. But as they ease into their new roles — Yumi will hold her first official event Sunday — their late-in-life relationship will continue to help shape their public image and personal lives.
For Yumi, Larry’s insistence that she finally chase her own ambitions led her to art school and a job teaching painting — a role she intends to keep while making the arts a priority as first lady. For Larry, Yumi’s devotion to family rounded out the rough edges of a climb-the-ladder life, softening him and giving him an instant family.Share
“She helped me appreciate the important things in life,” the 58-year-old governor said in an interview. “I would not be the governor without the love and support of my wife and my daughters. They’ve been an incredible inspiration.”
The couple is moving into the mansion as empty nesters, bringing along Yumi’s special kimchi refrigerator; the family dog, Lexi; and the multicultural values of an extended family they say represents Maryland’s present and future. Two daughters are Democrats. One is a war veteran. And two of the three married men who aren’t Asian, including one of Puerto Rican descent.
The food and conversation around the holiday dinner table is a spirited smorgasbord.
“Like most Marylanders, we’re pretty much right in the middle,” said Jaymi Sterling, the middle daughter, a St. Mary’s County prosecutor who appeared in a campaign ad defending her stepfather on women’s issues. “Our family is like a microcosm of Maryland. In so many ways, it’s so diverse, just like Maryland is.”
(Photos from the inauguration)
In many ways, because of Yumi, it is also historic. She is believed to be the first Korean first lady in the United States. And her background in the arts sets her apart from Katie O’Malley and Kendel Ehrlich, the previous two first ladies, whose backgrounds were in law. Some of her paintings will hang on the mansion’s 145-year-old walls. (Read more.)