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Blakeview: Moon Landrieu

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This week, we wish a happy 85th birthday to the patriarch of a New Orleans political dynasty — Moon Landrieu. An attorney best known for his two terms as the city's mayor from 1970 to 1978, Landrieu also served as a state representative, city councilman, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and judge on Louisiana's 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. Born on July 23, 1930, Landrieu graduated from Jesuit High School and Loyola University. In 1969, he campaigned for mayor on a progressive, pro-civil rights platform and won with a large majority of African-American votes. He brought large numbers of African-Americans into city government during his two terms and secured federal dollars for the revitalization of poor neighborhoods. He also helped the city's nascent tourism industry by developing the Moonwalk (named in his honor), boosting development along Poydras Street, promoting construction of the new Louisiana Superdome and renovating the French Market and Jackson Square. He and his wife Verna, whom he married in 1954, have nine children, several of whom followed him into public office, including the current mayor.

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