Charles L. Dufour

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Charles L. “Pie” Dufour (1903–1996) was an American newspaper journalist, historian, humorist, and book author from New Orleans, Louisiana who served as a columnist for the New Orleans States-Item newspaper.[1] He wrote approximately 9700 installments of his column “Pie Dufour’s A La Mode” for the States-Item and for the Sunday edition of the New Orleans Times-Picayune during his newspaper tenure, from 1949 until his retirement in 1978. He authored 20 books and approximately 50 articles for scholarly literature.[1] Dufour’s column covered diverse topics including Louisiana history, New Orleans Mardi Gras, law, local sports, classical music, New Orleans cuisine, and European travel.[2]

Dufour lived his entire life in New Orleans, except to serve in the US Army in World War II in a non-journalistic role. He enrolled at Tulane University for college in 1921, although he commenced his career with newspapers before completing his degree.[3] He ultimately completed his college degree in 1953.[3] Dufour was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by Tulane University in 1978, after retiring as a newspaper columnist.[3]

Together with fellow local historian John Churchill Chase, he taught a course on New Orleans history at Tulane University for 25 years.[1] Dufour referred to this course as "New Orleans on the Half Shell" as an acknowledgement of its emphasis on food and culture.[3] Dufour was a member of the gourmet group in New Orleans called "La Societe des Escargots Orleanais".[3]

A 1967 New York Times article characterized Dufour as a columnist and historian "who has devoted most of his professional life to the idea that history is news".[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • Charles L. Dufour, John Chase, Walter G. Cowan, Osborne K. Leblanc, John Wilds. New Orleans, Yesterday and Today: A Guide to the City ISBN 978-0807127438
  • Charles L. Dufour, The Night the War was Lost, University of Nebraska Press, 1994, ISBN 978-0-8032-6599-8.
  • Charles L. Dufour, The Mexican War: A Compact History 1846 – 1848, Hawthorne Publishers, 1968.
  • Charles L. Dufour, Gentle Tiger: The Gallant Life of Roberdeau Wheat, Louisiana State University Press, 1999, ISBN 0807123919.


  1. ^ a b c New Orleans Times-Picayune obituary for Pie Dufour, May 28, 1996.
  2. ^ Tulane University Special Collections, Manuscripts Collection 90,779, Accessed November 25, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Lind, Angus (June 2015). "Legendary Raconteurs". Tulane Magazine: 40.
  4. ^ John K. Bettersworth, The New York Times, September 24, 1967.

External links[edit]