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NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana
Historical Figures

Louisiana Historical Figures
Louisiana Politicians, Military and more



Bienville - Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville (February 1680 - March 1767) - The French explorer who founded New Orleans in 1718 at the shortest point between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River.  Bienville was the French Governor of Louisiana and founder of New Orleans.  He returned to France under a cloud of censure from the Government, after having faithfully served his country for more than forty years. He was buried with military honours in the cemetery of Montmartre.

Buddy Diliberto - Buddy was an iconic New Orleans sports commentator. For over 50 years, Buddy D. amused, encouraged, provoked and angered New Orleans Saints fans, players and coaches with his controversial statements and editorials.

General Andrew Jackson - (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) - Find out who that guy is on the horse in Jackson Square.  Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). He was military governor of pre-admission Florida (1821), commander of the American forces at the Battle of New Orleans (1815), and eponym of the era of Jacksonian democracy.

General Andrew Jackson - (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) - Find out who that guy is on the horse in Jackson Square who is the most photographed guy in New Orleans.

General Charles De Gualle - (November 22, 1890 - November 9, 1970) - Caused such a sensation when he visited New Orleans in 1960, we named a major boulevard after him.

General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard - (May 28, 1980 - November 9, 1970) - Who's statue is that anyway at Esplanade and Carrollton?  Born in St. Bernard.  American military leader.

General Robert Edward Lee - (January 19, 1907 - October 12, 1870) - Whatever your political views, this guy looms high over New Orleans.  Following the war Lee was almost tried as a traitor, but was only left with his civil rights suspended. Lee was offered the post of President of Washington University where he served until his death in 1870. The school was later renamed Washington and Lee. As a final note President Gerald Ford had Lee's citizenship restored.

George Herriman - (August 22, 1880 - April 25, 1944) - The creator of the zenith of comic strip art Krazy Kat, George Joseph Herriman, was born on August 22, 1880, in New Orleans.  The precursors to the characters of Krazy and Ignatz first appeared in a small, unrelated side comic that began on July 26, 1910, that ran below The Dingbat Family.

Harry Lee (Sheriff) - (August 27, 1932 – October 1, 2007) - Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Harry Lee is best known as the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish for over 25 years.  Beloved my all he served of well and we thank him with all our hearts.

Howard K. Smith - (May 12, 1914 – February 15, 2002) - born in Ferriday, Louisiana.  American broadcast journalist - correspondent with CBS and reporter, commentator and anchorman for ABC News.  Smith worked his way through Tulane University in New Orleans, having studied German and journalism.

Huey P. Long - (August 30, 1893 - September 10, 1935) - He was born August 30, 1893 in Winnfield, Louisiana.  Huey Long was Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1930.  A vocal critic of corporate greed and government incompetence, Huey Long's "Share Our Wealth" political movement swept the nation during the Great Depression, garnering millions of supporters and threatening the re-election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Huey Long-Ken Burns American Stories: Huey Long - (August 30, 1893 - September 10, 1935) -  Includes a timeline, video clips, and links.

Jean Henry Vignaud - (November 27, 1830 – 1922) - author, born in New Orleans.  He was a teacher in the public schools of New Orleans and was connected with “Le Courrier”, “L’Union de Lafourchu”, “La renaissance Louisianaise” as well as many other publications.  In Paris he translated nearly all the papers representing the United States for the Alabama commission in Geneva.

Jean Lafitte - "The Gentlemen Pirate" - also called "The Corsair," "The Buccaneer," "The King of Barataria," "The Terror of the Gulf," "The Hero of New Orleans". At three separate times, U.S. presidents have condemned, exonerated and again condemned his actions. He is known for his piracy in the Gulf of Mexico, and lauded for his heroism in the Battle of New Orleans.

Jim Garrison - (November 20, 1921 – October 21, 1992) - Jim Garrison was the District Attorney of Orleans Parish, Louisiana from 1962 to 1973. A member of the Democratic Party, he is best known for his investigations into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (JFK).

Jimmie Davis - (September 11, 1899 - November 5, 2000) - That's 3 centuries, y'all!  Born in Beech Springs, Louisiana.  Ex-Louisiana governor Jimmy Davis wrote 'You Are My Sunshine', the second most recognized song in the world after 'Happy Birthday'.  Jimmie Davis rose to prominence in the 1930s with a smooth vocal style that helped popularize country music far beyond its original rural southern audience.

John James Audubon - (April 26, 1785 – January 27, 1851) - painted and described the birds of America while visiting Louisiana. The namesake for the Audubon Institute and Zoo.  John James Audubon was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, hunter, and painter.  He painted, catalogued, and described the birds of North America in a form far superior to what had gone before. Born in Haiti and raised in France as a youth, in his embrace of America, and his outsize personality and achievements, he represented the new American people of the United States.

Johnnie Cochran - (October 2, 1937 – March 29, 2005) - Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. was an American lawyer best known for his leadership role in the defense and criminal acquittal of O. J. Simpson for the alleged murder of his former wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.  Johnnie Cochran, Jr. was born in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Justin Wilson(April 24, 1914 - September 5, 2001) - Sit back and enjoy spending some time with our own Cajun cook and humorist. You can stop by his on-line store and pick up a few of his books or catch one of his receipes.  Enjoy the world of southern American chef and humorist Justin Wilson with his own brand of Cajun cuisine mixed in with a few Cajun jokes for good measure.

La Salle - René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (1643-1687) The guy who named Louisiana was a French explorer.  He was the first European to travel the length of the Mississippi River.  La Salle named the entire Mississippi basin Louisiana, in honor of the King, and claimed it for France on April 9, 1682.

Marie Laveau - (September 10, 1801 – June 16, 1881) - was a Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voudoo renowned in New Orleans.  Although some references to Marie Laveau in popular culture refer to her as a "witch" she is properly described as a 'Voodoo priestess'.

Pistol Pete Maravich - Maravich pushed basketball to new limits. Consider this: Pistol Pete scored 3,667 points during his LSU collegiate playing career, averaging a staggering 44.2 points per game for 83 varsity college basketball contests. All of this occurred before the advent of the 3 point shot.  The story of Pistol Pete is told in books and videos offered here.  Relive the great days of Pistol Pete.

Ray Walston - (November 2, 1914 – January 1, 2001) - born in New Orleans.  American actor-director played 'My Favorite Martian' on TV (1963-1966).  Won a Tony Award for 'Damn Yankees' in 1955.  Site has a biography and award info and pics.  Presented by St. Louis, MO's The TheatrGroup.

Saint Charles - Everybody knows the street but who is this guy?

Saint Joan of Arc (Ste. Jeanne d'Arc) - that gold statue in the Quarter.

Saint Louis - Everybody knows the cathedral. Was he a saint or the King of France?

"Shoeless Joe Jackson" - Our most famous New Orleans Pelicans player.  This site is devoted to the memory of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the movement to persuade Major League Baseball to make him eligible for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Stephen Ambrose - acclaimed historian, author, and founder of the National D-Day  Museum, Professor Ambrose taught many years at U.N.O.  Site features news, interviews, and information about his books.

Tennessee Williams - (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) - Immortalized New Orleans in 'Streetcar Named Desire'.  Includes a biographical article, publications by the writer, bibliography of resources, and more.  PBS tribute to Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams - (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) - had a special bond with New Orleans and even considered it his spiritual home. The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival was founded in 1987.

Truman Capote - (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984) - born in New Orleans, La., was a Southern Gothic novelist, journalist, and celebrated man-about-town.  At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.

William Faulkner - (September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962) - American author born in Columbus, Mississippi spent much of his life in New Orleans.  Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winner.  One of the most influential writers of the 20th century, his reputation is based on his novels, novellas and short stories. He was also a published poet and an occasional screenwriter.


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