James A. Noe
|James A. Noe|
|43rd Governor of Louisiana|
January 28, 1936 – May 12, 1936
|Preceded by||Oscar K. Allen|
|Succeeded by||Richard W. Leche|
December 21, 1890|
Evans Landing, Harrison County Indiana, USA
|Died||October 18, 1976
|Resting place||Emma Lee Short Memorial Chapel Mausoleum of Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery in Monroe, Louisiana|
|Spouse(s)||Anna Gray Sweeney Noe (married 1922-1972, her death)|
|Residence||Monroe, Ouachita Parish
|Alma mater||Public schools|
|Profession||Broadcaster; Farmer; Oilman|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Noe was born in tiny Evans Landing in Harrison County, Indiana, to John M. Noe and the former Belle McRae. He also lived in the area of West Point, Kentucky, as a child. His education was limited to county schools. However, in 1971, he received an honorary LL.D. degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana University, to commemorate his lifetime achievements. He served in World War I as a first lieutenant with the 369th Infantry in France. He relocated to Louisiana and garnered a fortune as an independent oilman, both as producer and overriding royalty owner in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Noe was elected to the state Senate, District 29 (Ouachita and Jackson parishes). He became a legislative floor leader at the request of Governor Huey P. Long, Jr. He was chosen president pro tempore of the state Senate and succeeded to the governorship to finish out Allen's term because the sitting lieutenant governor, John B. Fournet, had resigned on his election to the Louisiana Supreme Court.
During Noe's brief tenure, he appointed Huey Long's widow, Rose McConnell Long, to finish Long's seat in the U.S. Senate. He also worked toward getting federal money for state highways and establishing a state welfare office. Noe thereafter returned to the state Senate and served until 1940, when he launched his own gubernatorial bid.
In 1959, Noe and Long ran as an intraparty "ticket" for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. Three Louisiana State University scholars describe the Noe campaign, accordingly:
"Noe had always been a Huey Long stalwart. Noe is a wealthy businessman from Monroe . . . who carries a strong sreak of Populist liberalism in his appeals. He came out of political retirement at the age of sixty-nine to make this race, and there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of his claim that he ran to redeem the name 'Long' and to try to prevent the repeal of the programs consistently fostered by the Longs. The strongest asset in Noe's campaign was the presence on his 'ticket' of Earl Long himself as a candidate for lieutenant governor. That Long should be regarded as an asset rather than a liability before the campaign was over when so many had earlier classified him as a has-been is ample testimony to the rather awesome respect which his candidacy for any elective office seemed to evoke among friends and enemies alike.".
The Noe-Long combination was soundly repudiated by the state's Democratic voters, who instead brought back the administration of James Houston "Jimmie" Davis, who first served from 1944 to 1948. Noe finished fourth in the 1959 gubernatorial primary with 97,654 votes (11.6 percent). He lost out to conservative former state House Speaker Clarence C. "Taddy" Aycock of Franklin, the seat of St. Mary Parish in south Louisiana.
Noe had much more success in his business ventures than he had in politics. Following his governorship, Noe founded both WNOE and WNOE-FM in New Orleans and KNOE (AM), KNOE-FM, and KNOE-TV in Monroe, all named in his honor. Though an old populist in political inclination, Noe turned conservative in his last years, as demonstrated in editorials through his radio and television stations. He was particularly critical of the nation's "left-turn" in the 1960s. KNOE-AM broadcast the news report of the legendary Paul Harvey news, whom Noe brought to Monroe for a public appearance. Noe also owned and operated farms in his native Indiana, his adopted Ouachita Parish, most notably the Whitehall Plantation, and in rural Tensas Parish adjacent to the Mississippi River.
On May 7, 1922, Noe married the former Anna Gray Sweeney (1901–1972). Their children were Gay Noe (born 1923), James Albert "Jimmy" Noe, Jr. (1928–2005), and Linda McRae Noe (born 1936).
Jimmy Noe, a prominent New Orleans businessman, succeeded his father in running the family-owned radio and television stations. Noe, Jr., turned Republican and supported the GOP gubernatorial nominee David C. Treen in 1972 and was an alternate delegate later in the year to the Republican National Convention that met in Miami Beach to renominate the Nixon-Agnew ticket.
Noe died in Houston, Texas, from complications from a heart condition and is entombed alongside his wife in the Emma Lee Short Memorial Chapel Mausoleum of Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery in Monroe. The University of Louisiana at Monroe Alumni Center is named for Mrs. Noe.
- Davis, Edwin Adams (1961). Louisiana: The Pelican State. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. LCCN 59:9008.
- "James Albert Noe," A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 2 (1988), p. 607.
- Who's Who in America, 1976–77
- Miriam G. Reeves, The Governors of Louisiana
- James A. Noe obituary, New Orleans Times-Picayune, October 19, 1976
- Obituary of James Noe, Jr. from Times-Picayune
- State of Louisiana - Biography
- Cemetery Memorial by La-Cemeteries
- Arcane Radio Trivia Biography
Oscar K. Allen
|Governor of Louisiana
Richard W. Leche