Maurice Edwin “Moon” Landrieu, born July 23, 1930, was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 56th Mayor of New Orleans from 1970 to 1978.
A member of the Democratic Party, he represented New Orleans’ Twelfth Ward in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1960 to 1966, served on the New Orleans City Council as a member at-large from 1966 to 1970 and was the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under U.S. President Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981.
Moon went to Jesuit High School and won a baseball scholarship to Loyola University New Orleans, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in business administration in 1952 and a J.D. in 1954.
As an undergraduate, he was elected student body president at Loyola.
In 1954, he joined the United States Army as a second lieutenant and served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps until 1957.
Upon completion of army service, he opened a law practice and taught accounting at Loyola.
In the late 1950s, Landrieu became involved in the youth wing of Mayor deLesseps Morrison’s Crescent City Democratic Organization.
Running on Morrison’s ticket, Landrieu was elected by the 12th Ward of New Orleans to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1960 to succeed J. Marshall Brown.
There he voted against the “hate bills” of the segregationists, which the Louisiana State Legislature passed in the effort to thwart the desegregation of public facilities and public schools.
In 1962, Landrieu ran for New Orleans City Council and lost but, in 1966, he was elected Councilman-at-large.
In 1969, he led a successful push for a city ordinance outlawing segregation based on race or religion in public accommodations, an issue that had been addressed nationally in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
As councilman, Landrieu also voted to remove the Confederate flag from the council chambers and voted to establish a biracial human relations committee. He succeeded with both votes.
Moon Landrieu Parents: Meet Joseph Geoffrey Landrieu, Loretta Bechtel.
Who are Moon Landrieu’s father and mother? Where are they now?
Landrieu was born in Uptown New Orleans to Joseph Geoffrey Landrieu and Loretta Bechtel.
Moon Landrieu’s mother, Loretta Bechtel was of German descent, with grandparents who came to Louisiana from Alsace and Prussia.
His father, Joseph was born in 1892 in Mississippi, the son of Frenchman Victor Firmin Landrieu and Cerentha Mackey, the illegitimate child of a mixed-race black woman and an unknown father.
However, little is known about the life of his parents.