|Crowley, Louisiana, City Judge|
|Preceded by||Denis T. Canan|
Edmund Michael Reggie
July 19, 1926
Crowley, Acadia Parish
|Died||November 19, 2013 (aged 87)|
|Resting place||Woodlawn Mausoleum in Crowley|
|Spouse(s)||Doris Ann Boustany Reggie|
|Relations||Ted Kennedy (son-in-law)|
Charles Boustany (cousin-in-law)
|Children||Edmund M. Reggie Jr.|
Victoria Reggie Kennedy
|Alma mater||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
Tulane University Law School
Edmund Michael Reggie Sr. (July 19, 1926 – November 19, 2013), was an American Democratic politician and city judge from the U.S. state of Louisiana. He was the second father-in-law of the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who was only six years Reggie's junior.
Reggie was born in the rice-growing city of Crowley, the seat of government of Acadia Parish in southwestern Louisiana but resided in his later years in the more populous Lafayette. He claimed to have been the youngest person ever to have served as a judge in American history.
Background[edit | edit source]
Reggie was of Lebanese descent. In 1946, he received a bachelor's degree from the Southwestern Louisiana Institute in Lafayette, since the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 1949, he procured his law degree from the Tulane University Law School in New Orleans.
Reggie was married to the former Doris Ann Boustany (born July 18, 1930), the daughter of businessman Frem F. Boustany Sr. (1903–1993), and the former Beatrice Joseph (1912–1988). Doris was born in Lafayette and graduated with honors from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Beatrice Boustany was a cousin of Amin Gemayel, a former president of Lebanon. Frem F. Boustany Jr., a brother-in-law of Edmund Reggie, was a physician who died two months before the passing of his mother, Beatrice.
Doris Reggie is a second cousin of U.S. Representative Charles Boustany of Lafayette, a Republican who formerly represented Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. Charles Boustany is a nephew-by-marriage of former Governor Edwin Washington Edwards, a Reggie confidant who also began his long political career in Crowley though Edwards was a native of Avoyelles Parish.
Doris Reggie is a long-term Democratic Party figure, having been a delegate to the national party conventions from 1976 to 1996. She sat on the platform committees in 1980, 1984, and 1988. She was a member of the Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee from 1975 to 1992 and sat on the finance committee from 1977 to 1996. She was a member of the national party finance committee from 1980 to 1992. She was the Democratic national committeewoman for Louisiana from 1984 to 1988. In 1979, she was a member of the Governor's Committee for the International Year of the Child.
Political life[edit | edit source]
Reggie served as acting judge for the ailing Crowley City Judge Denis T. Canan, who was also Reggie's law partner. When Canan died in 1950, Reggie was appointed by Governor Earl Kemp Long to Canan's seat, a fulfillment of Canan's dying wish. Appointed at the age of twenty-four, Reggie was reputed to be America's youngest judge at that time. Reggie held the post for twenty-five years until 1976.
At the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, with the Louisiana and Massachusetts state delegations sitting across the aisle from each other, Reggie brokered the delegation's support for U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy for Vice President (on a ticket with Adlai Ewing Stevenson, II), rather than Senator Estes Kefauver, who was preferred by Louisiana Governor Earl Long.
In the 1960 presidential election, Reggie was a leader in John F. Kennedy's Louisiana campaign. In 1959, he invited Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, to attend the International Rice Festival in Crowley as honored guests. This afforded Kennedy the opportunity to address a crowd of 130,000 people. The Kennedys were greeted by enthusiastic crowds — the largest JFK addressed prior to his Democratic presidential nomination in July 1960. Working with Reggie in the campaign was the former Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Sidney McCrory of Ascension Parish.
Reggie was nominated as a presidential elector in Louisiana for the Democratic ticket of John F. Kennedy-Lyndon B. Johnson and cast his vote when Kennedy handily prevailed in the statewide popular vote. Other national Democratic electors that year were Louisiana Attorney General Jack P.F. Gremillion, former U.S. Senator William C. Feazel, former State Senator Frank Burton Ellis of Covington, and Leon Gary of Houma, later director of the Louisiana Department of Public Works.
Following his inauguration, President Kennedy sent Reggie on a 1961 State Department cultural exchange to the Middle East; in Lebanon he was given a hero's welcome in his parents' hometown of Ihden. Reggie continued to serve the president as liaison with then Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis from 1961 until Kennedy's assassination in 1963.
In 1963, Reggie introduced the young political consultant Gus Weill of Lafayette to Louisiana Public Service Commissioner John McKeithen, who retained Weill to manage his gubernatorial campaign. Weill previously managed the Davis campaign and later wrote a biography of Davis entitled Your Are My Sunshine.
In 1968, Judge Reggie spearheaded the Robert F. Kennedy presidential primary campaign in Louisiana. Reggie invited Kennedy to speak at the 1968 International Rice Festival in October of that year, just as Kennedy's brother, John, had done nine years earlier. As history unfolded, Robert Kennedy was assassinated in June 1968, four months prior to his planned appearance at the rice festival.
Later years[edit | edit source]
In the 1971 Democratic gubernatorial primary to choose a successor to John McKeithen, Reggie supported not his Crowley friend, Edwin Edwards, but former Governor Jimmie Davis, one of the more conservative candidates in the crowded field. At the time Reggie erroneously considered Edwards unelectable. The decision hampered their relationship, and the two did not speak for three years."
In May 2008, the Louisiana Department of Culture and Tourism declared the location where JFK delivered his 1959 International Rice Festival speech in Crowley an area of historical significance and erected an historical marker.
On the morning of November 19, 2013, Edmund Reggie died at the age of eighty-seven at his Lafayette home surrounded by his wife and family. Services were held on November 22, the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Crowley. Interment followed in Woodlawn Mausoleum in Crowley.
Others articles of the Topics Biography AND Louisiana : Buddy Tudor, James L. Cathey Jr., W. W. Burnside, Harrison Bagwell, Thomas Hickman (Louisiana politician), Julian Edwin Bailes Sr., Bill Robertson (Louisiana politician)
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Others articles of the Topics Biography AND Law : Francis Xavier Ransdell, James Nelson Lee, Frank Voelker Sr., Bobby Culpepper, Monty M. Wyche, Cecil C. Lowe, J. Frank McInnis
Others articles of the Topic Biography : Scott Leehy, Dom DeLuise, Scott McAdams, Kent Courtney, Amos J. Taylor, Paul M. Davis Jr., Mrgrama
Others articles of the Topic Louisiana : Zach Dasher, Graydon K. Kitchens Jr., Joe Sampite, Hoffman L. Fuller, Roy O. Martin Jr., Richard Cleveland Drew, P. Elmo Futrell Jr.
Others articles of the Topic Law : Solidus Bond, Harmon Drew Jr., Frank Voelker Sr., Cecil C. Lowe, List of 2019 United States cannabis reform proposals, Charles McConnell, Thornton F. Bell
References[edit | edit source]
- 1930 United States Federal Census, Acadia Parish, Louisiana [database online] Provo, UT, provided through Ancestry.com, accessed 2005-02-25
- From the Cedars of Lebanon to Acadiana Archived 2008-10-29 at the Wayback Machine A book by Samuel J. Reggie
- Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 13th Ed., 1973-1974, Marquis Who's Who, Inc., Chicago, 1973.
- "Louisiana: Reggie, Doris Boustany", Who's Who in American Politics, 2003-2004, 19th ed., Vol. 1 (Alabama-Montana) (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2003), p. 792.
- "[Beatrice] Boustany service set", Lafayette Daily Advertiser, October 15, 1988, p. 20.
- "Judge Edmund Reggie laid to rest: Democratic Party insider died Tuesday at 87, November 22, 2013". Lafayette Daily Advertiser. Archived from the original on November 23, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- www.lapoliticalmuseum.com Edmund M. Reggie Online version
- The Rise of Louisiana Boy to Governor's Counsel Archived 2008-09-16 at the Wayback Machine New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1979-09-16
- Jim Bradshaw. "Acadiana Diary: Louisiana delegation helped bring JFK to notice". The Daily Advertiser. Lafayette, LA. Archived from the original on 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
- Crowley Rice Festival, 1959 Archived 2008-10-10 at the Wayback Machine
- "W. C. Abbott Jr., "A barefoot boy from Home Villa had a hand in history"". thepineywoods.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
- Minden Press November 7, 1960.
- Reggie Called JFK Emissary Archived 2009-09-03 at the Wayback Machine
- Photo of Reggie on shoulders of Lebanese crowd Archived 2009-09-01 at the Wayback Machine
- Schleifstein, Mark (1989-05-25). "Reggie a player in politics". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans. p. A-1.
- "Oral Histories: Gus Weill". www.sos.la.gov. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- Leo Honeycutt, Edwin Edwards: Governor of Louisiana, Lisburn Press, 2009, p. 70.
- English, Bella (August 26, 2009). "Ted Kennedy. A Life in Politics". The Boston Globe.
- Reggie gets 120 days at home in bank case Archived 2009-08-31 at the Wayback Machine
- "Judge Edmund Reggie". Lafayette Daily Advertiser. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
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