Theo Cangelosi

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Theodore F. "Theo" Cangelosi
Louisiana State Representative from East Baton Rouge Parish
In office
1940–1944
Preceded by J. A. McCurnin, Sr.
Succeeded by Percy E. Roberts
Personal details
Born (1911-12-14)December 14, 1911
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Died July 14, 1992(1992-07-14) (aged 80)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Nationality Italian American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) (1) Missing

(2) Kathleen Flores Webre

Children Ten children
Alma mater Louisiana State University Law Center
Occupation Attorney, Banker

Gubernatorial confidante

Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Judge Advocate General as First lieutenant
Battles/wars World War II

Theodore F. Cangelosi, known as Theo Cangelosi (December 14, 1911 - July 14, 1992), was an attorney, banker, and businessman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who served a single term from 1940 to 1944 as a Democrat in the Louisiana House of Representatives. He was a confidant of Governors Earl Kemp Long and John J. McKeithen.

Background[edit]

Cangelosi was descended from an old-line Italian-American family in Baton Rouge. In 1934, he graduated from the Louisiana State University Law Center. He served in the state House for a single term during the administration of the anti-Long Governor Sam Houston Jones of Lake Charles. In July 1942, Cangelosi enlisted in the United States Army at Camp Beauregard near Pineville in Rapides Parish. He was the first enlisted man ever to become a Judge Advocate General at the rank of first lieutenant. He remained in the legislature until his term ended though he was actually in the military for the last two years.

Cangelosi was married to the former Kathleen Flores Webre (born ca. 1940 and presumably a second wife). His obituary lists ten surviving children, only one named "Cangelosi", seventeen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Political activities[edit]

Cangelosi was a high-profile supporter of Earl Long in the latter's 1948 election to a full-term as governor. In that campaign, Long trounced former Governor Sam Jones, who failed in a comeback attempt.

Long named Cangelosi to the influential LSU Board of Supervisors. At first, Cangelosi opposed a stadium addition approved by the legislature in 1952. He agreed with colleague Margaret Dixon, managing editor of the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, who suggested that a new library would be preferable to an enclosed stadium. The legislature, explained LSU President Troy Middleton, had approved the stadium, not a new library. So Cangelosi and Dixon were recommending policy beyond the scope of the LSU administration. The stadium hence triumphed.

Though he was Earl Long's regular attorney, Louisiana First Lady Blanche R. Long tried to retain him in 1959 to file separation papers against Earl Long. Caught in the crossfire before the two Longs, Cangelosi first tried and without success to reconcile the couple. Long began to distrust Cangelosi and called Joseph A. Sims of Hammond to perform several legal maneuvers to get Long removed from confinement in the Southeast Louisiana Hospital, the mental facility in Mandeville, where Long had been admitted against his wishes through the intervention of his wife. In a special session of the legislature in August 1959, Long tried to remove Cangelosi from the LSU board but ran into opposition, particularly from two members of the House from Rapides Ben F. Holt and Robert Munson.[1] Long died in September 1960, still separated from Blanche and reportedly involved with the controversial stripper, Blaze Starr.

Cangelosi was a delegate to the 1964 Democratic National Convention, which met in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to confirm the Lyndon B. Johnson-Hubert Humphrey ticket, which lost in Louisiana to the Republican slate of Barry M. Goldwater and William E. Miller.

In 1965, Governor McKeithen appointed Cangelosi chairman of the newly established Louisiana State Science Foundation, with former Shreveport Mayor James C. Gardner as the vice-chairman. The foundation was designed to fund research proposals submitted by the private Gulf South Research Institute, a creation of the interest group called Council for a Better Louisiana. One of the research projects funded was to investigate possible uses of bagasse, the dry pulp remaining from sugar cane after the juice has been extracted. Cangelosi knew the state bureaucracy and was able to get the new science foundation an office constructed in New Orleans. When Cangelosi had a major illness in October 1966, Gardner moved up to the chairmanship.

McKeithen also tapped Cangelosi to serve on a committee to oversee the design of the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.

Cangelosi died at the age of eighty at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fight Looms on Cangelosi Firing Issue", Ruston Daily Leader, July 30, 1959, p. 1
Political offices
Preceded by
J. A. McCurnin, Sr.
Louisiana State Representative from East Baton Rouge Parish

Theodore F. "Theo" Cangelosi
1940–1944

Succeeded by
Percy E. Roberts