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Moon Landrieu, former New Orleans mayor, dies at 92: report

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Department of Housing and Urban Development
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Moon Landrieu, a two-term New Orleans mayor whose legacy includes increasing Black representation in city government and building up the Central Business District with the Superdome and skyscrapers, died at the age of 92 on Monday morning, according to a report from NOLA.com.

Landrieu was born on July 23, 1930 in Uptown New Orleans. A Democrat, he held various political positions, including United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981, a Louisiana House Representative for New Orleans' Twelfth Ward from 1960 to 1966 and New Orleans City Council member at-large from 1966 to 1970. He also served as judge of the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeals from 1992 before retiring in 2000.

With wife Verna, they are parents to nine children, including former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, now a senior adviser to President Joe Biden.

Madeleine Landrieu, a former Civil District Court and 4th Circuit Court of Appeal judge who is dean of Loyola University’s law school, spoke to the Times-Picayune about her father’s influence on his children.

“We all, every one of us, are in some form of community service,” she said.

In 2020, WWNO re-aired an interview with Landrieu where he reflects on entering politics in New Orleans at a tumultuous time in the country, and especially in the south, when it came to racial issues and justice for minorities. He talked about the struggle to remove Confederate flags from the City Council chambers. You can listen to that conversation here.

Gov. John Bel Edwards released a statement commemorating Landrieu’s life and legacy. Edwards has ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff during the day of his funeral.

“In addition to his many contributions to our state and nation, he leaves behind the most enduring legacy of all — a family that continues his fight for equality,” Edwards said.

During his time as mayor, the Times-Picayune reported that when Landrieu first took office, Black residents made up 19% of municipal employees. After leaving office eight years later, that figure went up to 43%. Landrieu also appointed Rev. A.L. Davis to fill a City Council vacancy, making him the first Black member of that body. His successor as mayor was Ernest Nathan Morial, the first Black mayor of New Orleans. This pushed his vision of an integrated City Hall.

Landrieu was a member and later executive secretary of the Domed Stadium Commission, a state entity created in 1966, according to WWL-TV, to oversee the construction of the Superdome. He pushed for its creation downtown to modernize and revitalize the area.

Other efforts to promote tourism included renovations of the French Market and Jackson Square.

In 2004, he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame.

A date for his funeral has not yet been confirmed, but arrangements are underway.

Kezia Setyawan is a coastal reporter for WWNO and WRKF and is based out of Houma.

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