The Lady of Silk and Steel, From Everest to Embassiestells the rags to riches story of a woman who grew up in nearly destitute circumstances on a small California farm to live in Elizabeth Taylor s former penthouse on the Potomac. A graduate of Stanford University, Sue Cobb became a tennis star, a national champion downhill ski racer, and a successful attorney who graduated from law school at forty-one, and simultaneously took up the practice of law and high altitude mountain climbing. Ten years later she came incredibly close to being the first US woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.


With wit and candor, Sue McCourt Cobb now recounts her extraordinary life story, spanning the mid-twentieth century (1937) to the early years of the twenty-first century (2020) when college-educated women went from secretaries to CEOs, when women learned to balance family, careers, and full adventurous lives. And Sue Cobb has certainly lived several lives in one lifetime. This is a memoir of someone who reached the summit of success while nurturing her family. At every step of her life, she has played her roles superbly. From a corporate and then a diplomatic wife to husband Ambassador Charles Cobb and as full-time mom to sons Christian and Tobin, The Lady of Silk and Steelis both the personal story of a partner, mother, athlete, and friend as well as a revealing account of a professional woman s life.


Challenges some might balk at, Sue M. Cobb met head-on. She started and grew the public finance division of one of Miami s largest and most prestigious law firms, helped elect a United States president, and redefined the role and relationship of ambassador to one of America s most proximal allies. Impactful lessons are woven through the twists and turns of her life in the United States and Iceland until on the fateful day of September 11, 2001, she began her role as Ambassador of the United States of America, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Jamaica.

She has shared moments with Vaclav Havel, Shirley Temple Black, Henry Kissinger, Sir Edmund Hilary, Neil Armstrong, Barbara and George Bush and many others. Interviews by contributor Laura Tanna with prime ministers, generals, ministers, and others with whom Ambassador Cobb worked add an unusual dimension to this book. Yet Sue M. Cobb, living a richly layered life personally and professionally, is the portrait of humility. An athlete and adventurer at heart, Sue s travels have taken her from Kilimanjaro to Kingston, Miami to Machu Picchu, from Taiwan to Tibet. She has faced rifles and rhinos, and cheated death more than once. She is not a thrill-seeker, but in her zest for life she has pursued a myriad of passions. The Lady of Silk and Steelis neither vain, nor vacuous, but rather is a fascinating account of a truly inspirational and indomitable woman, which leaves the reader wondering, what s next?

The Lady of Silk and Steel: From Everest to Embassies

  • Publisher: Ian Randle Publishers (November 16, 2020)

    Language: English

    Hardcover: 384 pages

    Item Weight: 1.43 pounds