The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans mourns the passing of former Board Chairman Francis E. “Hank” Lauricella.
Gov. Mike Foster appointed Mr. Lauricella to the Board in April of 1997 and he served as Board Chairman from October 2001 until June of 2002.
“Mr. Lauricella’s leadership was critical during a period of Port expansion and diversification, such as the construction of the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal and the meteoric rise of the Port’s cruise industry,” said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. “I consider him a mentor and a friend and he will be sorely missed in the Greater New Orleans community.”
Prior to his service on the Port’s Board, Mr. Lauricella served 32 years in the Louisiana Legislature, first serving two terms in the House of Representatives and later serving in the Louisiana Senate from 1972 until he retired in 1996.
Current Louisiana Senator Conrad Appel succeeded Mr. Lauricella on the Board representing Jefferson Parish.
“Sen. Lauricella was a true gentleman and a consensus builder,” said Appel, who also served as Board Chairman. “He is someone I have emulated during my political career.”
Prior to his public service, Mr. Lauricella gained a national reputation on the football field as the featured tailback of the 1950 and 1951 national championship teams at the University of Tennessee. An All-American, Mr. Lauricella was runner-up for the 1951 Heisman Trophy and later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Following his football career, Mr. Lauricella served three year in the U.S. Army, earning the rank of 1st Lieutenant. In his professional career, Mr. Lauricella was a partner in Lauricella Land Company.
Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. A wake will be held Tuesday, April 1 from 5-9 p.m. and visitation will be held Wednesday, April 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Mass to follow at St. Rita Church in Harahan, La.