Hank Lauricella

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Francis Edward "Hank" Lauricella
Date of birth: (1930-10-09)October 9, 1930
Place of birth: Harahan, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, USA
Date of death: March 25, 2014(2014-03-25) (aged 83)
Place of death: Ochsner Medical Center, Jefferson, Louisiana
Career information
Position(s): Halfback, Quarterback
College: Tennessee
NFL Draft: 1952 / Round: 17
Organizations
As player:
1952 Dallas Texans
Career stats
Playing stats at DatabaseFootball.com
Hank Lauricella
Louisiana State Representative from Jefferson Parish
In office
1964–1972
Louisiana State Senator from Jefferson Parish
In office
1972–1996
Succeeded by Art Lentini
Personal details
Political party Democrat / later Republican
Spouse(s) Betty Valker Lauricella
Children Francis Lauricella, Jr.

Louis Lauricella
Elizabeth Lauricella McStravick
Marc Lauricella
Christopher Lauricella

Alma mater Holy Cross High School (New Orleans)

University of Tennessee

Occupation Real estate businessman
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Service/branch United States Army Corps of Engineers
Rank First lieutenant

Francis Edward Lauricella, known as Hank Lauricella (October 9, 1930 – March 25, 2014),[1] was a real estate developer from suburban New Orleans, Louisiana, a college football legend, and a member of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature.

Lauricella was a Hall of Fame player for the Tennessee Volunteers football team. He represented Jefferson Parish as a Democrat in the state House from 1964 to 1972 and then in the state Senate from 1972 to 1996. On his retirement, he was succeeded in the state Senate by the Republican Art Lentini.[2][3]

High school career[edit]

Born in Harahan in Jefferson Parish, Lauricella was one of three children of John L. Lauricella, Sr., and the former Theresa Sherling. He was a star player at Holy Cross High School in New Orleans, which he had entered as a boarding student in the fifth grade. His team there won the city championship in 1947 with use of the single wing offense.

College career[edit]

After Holy Cross, Lauricella attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he earned in 1952 a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.[1] He played under Coach Robert Neyland from 1949 to 1951 as a member of the 1950 and the 1951 National Championship teams. Lauricella gained fame as the running back in the single wing offense, at the time that most schools had switched to the T-formation. At that position, Lauricella was responsible for the majority of the rushing and passing. Because of his skill at both aspects, Lauricella was dubbed "Mr. Everything".[4]

The led the Volunteers to a 10-1 season in his junior year and victory in the 1951 Cotton Bowl. Tennessee went undefeated during the regular season of his senior year, won the SEC title, and was named national champion before losing to the University of Maryland at College Park in the 1952 Sugar Bowl. During his senior year, Lauricella was a repeat all-SEC player, was named an All American, and was the first runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting to Dick Kazmaier of Princeton University. He played in 1953 one year of professional football for the Dallas Texans. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1982, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1983, the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005, and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.[1]

Political career[edit]

Lauricella first served in the state House in 1964 as a Democrat, when there were only two Republicans in the legislature, and then in the state Senate in 1972, when all thirty-nine members were Democrats. He later became a Republican, whose party ranks soared to majorities in both houses after 2012.[5]

His obituary describes his legislative service as "diligent, low-keyed, consistent in his views, and trustworthy. A voice of moderation, he instinctively sought consensus."[1]

Lauricella was particularly interested as a legislator in economic development and transportation. He supported the interests of the Greater New Orleans area, including the now Mercedes-Benz Superdome, The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Louis Armstrong International Airport, and the Port of New Orleans. He served on the boards of the original Dome Stadium Commission, the Port of New Orleans, the World Trade Center New Orleans, and the Jefferson Business Council. He was the first chairman of the board of the Jefferson Community Foundation.[1]


Personal life[edit]

From 1953 to 1955, Lauricella was a first lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, with a year of commitment to South Korea. He returned to Harahan in 1955 to join his father and his brother, the late John Lauricella, Jr., in the family business, John L. Lauricella and Sons, which was focused first on residential real estate and subsequently on commercial enterprises. The business is now known as the Lauricella Land Company. His son Louis Lauricella of New Orleans joined the firm in the late 1980s and worked with his father in recent years.[1]

Lauricella married his college sweetheart, the former Betty Valker, who survives him. In addition to Louis Lauricella and wife Connie Jo, the couple has four other children, Francis Lauricella, Jr., and wife Mary of San Francisco, California, Elizabeth Lauricella McStravick and husband Peter of Katy, Texas, Marc and wife Kyle Lauricella of Wilton, Connecticut, and Christopher Lauricella and wife Ellen of Los Angeles.[1]

A funeral mass was held on April 2, 2014 at St. Rita's Catholic Church, 7100 Jefferson Highway in Harahan. The obituary does not list a place of interment.[1]


Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Francis Edward "Hank" Lauricella". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Membership of the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2004". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ 'Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: 1992-1995,' David L. Porter, Greenwood Publishing Company: 1995, Biographical Sketch of Francis Edward "Hank" Lauricella, pg. 463-464
  4. ^ Tennessee Football-Hank Lauricella
  5. ^ Former state lawmaker, football standout Hank Lauricella, dies at 83

External links[edit]

Louisiana Senate
Preceded by
At-large membership:

John G. Schwegmann
Jules G. Mollere
Samuel B. Nunez, Jr.

Louisiana State Senator from Jefferson Parish

Francis Edward "Hank" Lauricella
1972–1996

Succeeded by
Art Lentini