Jennifer Anne Montgomery is a former Notre Dame professor and the mother of former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who ran for president in 2020. She is called by her middle name.
Montgomery met her husband, Joseph Buttigieg, when they were both working at New Mexico State University. Pete was their only child.
Montgomery made appearances along the campaign trail with her son, beginning with his formal announcement that he was running for president on April 14, 2019. He pointed her out during the speech, which resulted in loud applause.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Anne Montgomery Was a Linguist & Taught at Notre Dame For Nearly 30 Years
Pete Buttigieg has attracted praise for his language skills since entering the 2020 race. He can speak Norwegian, French, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic, and Dari. (Buttigieg has clarified that he is not fluent in each language; he says his Arabis is “rusty” due to lack of practice).
Anne Montgomery is most likely the person who inspired her son’s interest in languages. She is most often described as a linguist and was a professor at the University of Notre Dame for 29 years.
Montgomery was listed in a university registrar as an “Associate Professional Specialist in English.” Montgomery also earned a Master of Fine Arts from Notre Dame.
The Washington Post reported that in addition to English, Montgomery also taught in the business and art departments at Notre Dame.
2. Jennifer Anne Montgomery’s Father Was An Army Colonel & Her Mother Taught Piano
Jennifer Anne Montgomery was born on February 13, 1945. Her family has Scottish ancestry.
Pete Buttigieg shared some details about his mother’s background during his announcement speech in South Bend on April 14. He explained that she was the daughter of an Army colonel and a piano teacher. That may help to explain why Mayor Pete began piano lessons as a young child and still plays today.
In a 2016 article for Medium, Buttigieg described his mother as an “umpteenth-generation Hoosier,” but she didn’t spend her entire life in Indiana. Montgomery lived in Virginia as a high school student. She graduated from Radford High School, according to her Facebook page.
Montgomery then moved to Texas for college. She attended the University of Texas at Austin, both for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Montgomery earned her bachelor’s degree in 1967 and a master’s degree in 1976.
3. Jennifer Anne Montgomery Met Joseph Buttigieg While Both Were Working at New Mexico State University
Jennifer Anne Montgomery moved to New Mexico after earning her master’s degree at the University of Texas. She accepted a faculty position at New Mexico State University.
That is also where she met her husband. Joseph Buttigieg earned his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1976 and also accepted a job in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The couple tied the knot on January 6, 1980. They moved to South Bend, Indiana, that same year and both began working at Notre Dame. Their son Pete was born on January 19, 1982. They were married for nearly 40 years.
Joseph Buttigieg passed away on January 27, 2019, at the age of 71.
4. Anne Montgomery Underwent Emergency Heart Surgery in the Fall of 2018
The autumn of 2018 was difficult for the Buttigieg family. As Pete Buttigieg’s father was undergoing chemotherapy, Anne Montgomery had to be rushed into heart surgery.
Buttigieg explained the urgency of the situation during his campaign kickoff speech in April 2019. “I left my mother’s hospital bedside to go find my dad across town in the middle of his chemotherapy treatment to let him know she was going to need immediate heart surgery. Not the kind of thing you put in a text message.”
Buttigieg posted a photo of his parents on October 18, 2018, when he shared the news that Montgomery had come through her heart bypass surgery. He wrote, “Dad and I just left Mom’s bedside at the hospital, where she is resting tonight after heart bypass surgery. We were all surprised by this turn of events but she has faced it with her characteristic toughness and good humor. She is receiving superb care and we expect a full recovery in time. Your prayers, kind wishes, and friendship mean a great deal as always to our family.”
5. Montgomery Walked Pete Buttigieg Down the Aisle at His Wedding
Anne Montgomery and Jospeh Buttigieg escorted Pete down the aisle when he married Chasten Glezman on June 16, 2018, at the Cathedral of Saint James Episcopal church in downtown South Bend. The ceremony was streamed live on YouTube.
Happy Mother's Day to the extraordinary mothers of our community (especially you, Mom)! pic.twitter.com/Z84IPN7V7m
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) May 13, 2018
The family is literally close. A search of online records shows that Buttigieg lives around the block from Montgomery’s house.