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The Honorable Marc H. Morial

Chief executive officer and politician Marc Haydel Morial was born on January 3, 1958, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the son of Sybil Haydel Morial, a teacher and university administrator, and the late Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, who was the first African American Mayor of New Orleans. Morial attended a Jesuit high school, receiving his diploma in 1976. He earned his B.A. degree in economics and African American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and received his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1983.

In 1992, Morial served two years in the Louisiana State Senate, where he was recognized as Legislative Rookie of the Year. Prior to his elected service, Morial worked as a private practice lawyer at Adams and Reese, one of the Gulf South’s leading law firms. One of his most noteworthy U.S. Supreme Court cases - Chisom v. Roemer - established that the Voting Rights Act be applied to the election of judges. This led to the election of the first African American judge in Louisiana.

Morial served two terms as mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002. Many improvements were made during his terms as mayor including crime reduction, police reform and the passing of a significant bond issue. In addition, during his last two years in office, Morial served as president of the United States Conference of Mayors. The Morials, father and son, have the distinction of being one of the first African American political dynasties.

In May 2003, Morial was appointed president and CEO of The National Urban League, a revered civil rights organization. Since that appointment, Morial’s Empowerment Agenda has worked to reenergize the League’s diverse constituencies; to build on the strength of its nearly one hundred year old legacy; and to increase its profile both locally and nationally.

Morial has been recognized by Non-Profit Times as one of America's top 50 non-profit executives, and was named one of the "100 Most Influential Blacks in America" by Ebony magazine. In June 2009, Morial was appointed chair of the 2010 Census Advisory Committee.

Morial is married to news anchor Michelle Miller and has two children.

Accession Number

A2006.045

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/21/2006 |and| 4/4/2006 |and| 5/2/2006 |and| 11/29/2006

11/29/2006

3/21/2006

4/4/2006

5/2/2006

Last Name

Morial

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Schools

St. Gabriel the Archangel School

Christian Brothers School

Jesuit High School

University of Pennsylvania

Georgetown University Law Center

First Name

Marc

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

MOR11

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Galapagos Island

Favorite Quote

Keep The Faith.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/3/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive and mayor The Honorable Marc H. Morial (1958 - ) served two terms as mayor of New Orleans, and was appointed president and CEO of the National Urban League in 2003.

Employment

New Orleans City Government

Louisiana Legislature

Xavier University of Louisiana

U.S. Senate

National Urban League

Barham and Churchill

Marc Morial, Attorney At Law

Louisiana Senate

Adams and Reese LLP

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes Pontchartrain Park in New Orleans

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his Creole family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his Creole family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's political campaigns

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his parents' civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the religious leaders of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's judicial campaigns

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his mother's civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers New Orleans' Christian Brothers School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers playing sports in Pontchartrain Park, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls playing on New Orleans' all-star basketball team

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers his disinterest in music lessons

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the importance of sports in his life

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his father's inauguration to Louisiana's legislature

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's tenure in the Louisiana House of Representatives

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers meeting legislators as a page

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers playing sports in Pontchartrain Park, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers working on his father's campaigns

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls creating signage for his father's mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's mayoral campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's mayoral campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the wards of New Orleans

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial reflects upon how his parents raised him

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes his experience at Jesuit High School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes his social life at Jesuit High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial recalls his decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes the New Orleans police strike of 1979, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes the New Orleans police strike of 1979, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes his decision to study economics

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial recalls his experience at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 3

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his arrival at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial explains his decision to attend a majority school

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the diversity of the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his organizational involvement in college

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls how his political aspirations developed

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his role in the Louisiana legislature

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his role models at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his mentors at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls graduating from the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers hearing Reverend Jesse L. Jackson speak

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his role in Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential campaigns

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's impact on New Orleans

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his position at Barham and Churchill

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his aspirations as a young lawyer

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 4

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his early business ventures

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers State of Louisiana v. Shropshire

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls founding his private law practice

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his organizational involvements

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his interest in running for a political office

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his campaign for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his campaign for the Louisiana State Senate

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial talks about David Duke's campaigns

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes David Duke's impact on Louisiana

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his time in the Louisiana State Senate

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his decision to run for mayor of New Orleans

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his mayoral campaign

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his politics and ideology

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes New Orleans' public safety package

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his accomplishments as mayor of New Orleans

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his and his father's mayoral terms

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes Hurricane Georges and Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes how he continued his father's mayoral legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his first campaign for mayor of New Orleans, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his first campaign for mayor of New Orleans, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his second term as mayor of New Orleans

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his National Urban League interview, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his National Urban League interview, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his National Urban League presidency, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his National Urban League presidency, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his life, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial talks about his wife and children

DASession

1$4

DATape

1$8

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's political campaigns
The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his decision to run for mayor of New Orleans
Transcript
So, I know you were just, really first grade when he [Morial's father, Ernest Morial] became a lawyer. Is it, was he the first black lawyer (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) My father was the first black to finish from the Louisiana State University Law School [Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana]. There were a handful of black lawyers in Louisiana before he became a lawyer, the late great A.P. Tureaud, to name, most of them had attended Howard University [Washington, D.C.]. I think a few had gone to a school in Missouri, Lincoln--there was a Lincoln Law School [Lincoln University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri], I believe, at one time, but many of them had attended Howard. My father attended LSU [Louisiana State University]. He became the first black student to attend LSU--the second black student to attend LSU, and the first black to graduate from LSU Law School in 1954. So, so that was an accomplishment in and of itself and he began practicing law in 1957 with A.P. Tureaud who was the dean of civil rights lawyers, so my father became a civil rights lawyer. So, he was co-counsel on every major civil rights case, desegregation of schools, desegregation of all public facilities. His name is on the pleadings. He was involved in all those case. It really defined the course of his life, what he did in the late 1950s as an understudy to A.P. Tureaud. So, he got involved in the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and in 1962 became president of the NAACP New Orleans [Louisiana] branch and remained there for three years and then became an assistant U.S. attorney and through the intervention of people like Hale Boggs and others and I, I remember him saying he was really reluctant to take the job as an assistant U.S. attorney because it meant being a government employee. It meant sacrificing and giving up most of his law practice. But, he did it because A.P. Tureaud and a fellow by the name of Arthur Chapital who were his mentors. Arthur Chapital had been the president of the New Orleans branch of the NAACP and later became the chairman of the NAACP state conference. Arthur Chapital, A.P. Tureaud and then my father's older brother, Walter Morial [Walter Morial, Jr.], were really his mentors in life and they convinced him that because of the opportunity to open a door and make history he should take this job as an assistant U.S. attorney because there had never been a black in a position like that ever in the history of Louisiana. So, he did that and then he in 1967 he ran for the state house of representatives and was elected. There had never been an African American elected to the legislature [Louisiana State Legislature] in the 20th century when he got elected in 1967 and he ran against an entrenched incumbent white legislature by the name of Stephen Daley, interesting, and won the race in the first primary without the need for a runoff. And you know I remember this, my father's first campaign I remember vividly I was only nine years old, I would go Uptown [New Orleans, Louisiana], we get on the back of his sound truck with a band and ride around the neighborhoods and campaign on Saturday and go to churches and rallies and I think my father brought to campaigning something that was a hallmark of every campaign he ever ran and it certainly became a hallmark of mine and that is it was the organizing methods of the Civil Rights Movement, two political campaigns, very grassroots oriented, very community oriented, a lot of volunteers, a lot of phone banking, a lot of knocking on doors, a lot of working in the churches, which in those days was not, not all that common in New Orleans politics. So, people got an opportunity to see a candidate who had never seen candidates before, and so it was, that race was, was historic and, and so he went to the legislature and got seated in 1968.$So I had two years and a little bit more in the Senate [Louisiana State Senate] and after my second year in the Senate I started entertaining the thoughts of running for mayor [of New Orleans, Louisiana]. And it's funny because I, I sort of vowed at the time that I didn't want to run for mayor, that I was gonna stay in the Senate because I liked the Senate. Really being in the Senate is probably the single best political job I ever had. I mean, I enjoyed being mayor. It, it trumps everything, but the Senate was a place where you had colleagues. The Senate was a place of collegiality. The Senate was a place in those days where we could get something done. The Senate was a place where we had a nice coalition. The Senate was a place that I learned a lot, and you know then I decided and it was in effect--$$Who convinced you that you should run?$$I don't really know who convinced me. It's almost like it was spontaneous combustion. I was very peaked, upset, not happy about the direction of the city. Crime had gotten out of control. There seem to be just complete lethargy in the government. I went to a meeting in City Hall [New Orleans, Louisiana] and it looked like they hadn't polished the floors. The bathrooms were dirty, you know, and you see these sorts of things and I think something went off in me and said you know what I can do a better job. The other thing is there were a number of people running for mayor. I call it, it was four people running, five people running, all of them were fifty and over and I was thirty-five and I'm, I sort of remember reading the paper, you know, and saying you know what are we gonna get if any of these guys win? It's gonna be more of the same, the same old things, no fire, no change, no nothing. And I decided to run very late. I remember I announced my candidacy on November 10th, 1993. The final deadline was December 1st, and got out there and just put the old grassroots Morial coalition together and we stormed the barracks. And it was, you know, I got in the race and several of the candidates, particularly some of the African American candidates were cross with me. They were mad with me. Why am I running?$$Why were they?$$Well they were jealous because they knew that my presence in the race meant that they, it made their job much more difficult. You know I had a--$$How much did the legacy play into your running?$$I think the legacy played a lot into the idea that at thirty-five and with two years in the Senate I can be a credible candidate. I think that the brand name, the Morial name in New Orleans [Louisiana] represents probably progressive effective leadership, effective leadership. The idea of getting things done, making things happen, and the idea of strength and the idea of you know multiracial coalitions. I think that's what the Morial political brand represents in New Orleans.