Norman L. Richardson
|Norman Lee Richardson|
February 20, 1935|
Ruston, Lincoln Parish
|Died||June 11, 1999
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
|Genres||Coverage of hurricanes; Fouke Monster|
|Spouse(s)||Alice Coleman Richardson (born 1936)|
|Norman Lee Richardson|
(1) Richardson "could hardly wait for hurricane season to start." Shreveport Times, Richardson moved his family to Temple, Texas, to become executive editor of the politically powerful Frank W. Mayborn's Temple Daily Telegram.
Norman Lee Richardson (February 20, 1935 - June 11, 1999) was an award-winning journalist in Louisiana and Texas who was best known for his vivid coverage of hurricanes during the 1960s. His reporting garnered recognition from the Associated Press, including the Frank C. Allen Award in 1969 and the AP Managing Editor's Association Award in 1965.
Richardson's wife, the former Alice Coleman (born 1936), noted that during hurricane warnings "Everybody else in the world was heading north, and he would grab (photographers) Lloyd Stilley or Langston McEachern and head south. He could hardly wait for hurricane season to start." McEachern recalled having gone with Richardson to report directly on seven hurricanes when storm-tossed cities were under martial law.
Richardson was a native of Ruston, the seat of Lincoln Parish. He graduated from Ruston High School and Louisiana Tech University, from which he procured his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism in 1971. Tech journalism was headed by Richardson's friend Wiley W. Hilburn, the former long-term chairman of the department.
He joined the staff of The Shreveport Times, where he was the state editor from 1957 to 1974. In that capacity, Richardson coordinated regional coverage of north Louisiana, east Texas, and southern Arkansas events. At one point be became interested in the legendary "Fouke Monster" of Fouke in Miller County in southwestern Arkansas, a variation of Bigfoot. Former Times managing editor Allan Matthew Lazarus described Richardson as "a hard-working, conscientious editor."
In later years, Richardson had serious health problems. Late in 1993, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an incurable disease that attacks the heart muscle. In 1995, Richardson spent 123 days in the hospital awaiting a heart transplant. He died four years later at the age of sixty-four of renal failure at Schumpert Medical Center in Shreveport.
In addition to Mrs. Richardson, a retired educator, Richardson was survived by his daughter and three grandchildren, two of whom were born after Richardson's heart transplant.
Richardson was cremated.