Felix Edward Hébert
- For the U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, see Felix Hebert
|F. Edward Hébert|
|Member of the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana's 1st district|
January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1977
|Preceded by||Joachim O. Fernández|
|Succeeded by||Richard Alvin Tonry|
October 12, 1901|
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
|Died||December 29, 1979
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Resting place||Lake Lawn Park Mausoleum in New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Spouse(s)||Gladys Bofill Hébert (married 1934)|
Dawn Marie Hébert Duhé
|Alma mater||Tulane University|
|Occupation||Journalist for New Orleans Times-Picayune|
|Hébert still holds the Louisiana longevity record as a member of the United States House of Representatives|
Felix Edward Hébert (October 12, 1901 – December 29, 1979) was an American politician and is the longest-serving member ever of the United States House of Representatives for the state of Louisiana, having represented the New Orleans-based 1st congressional district as a Democrat from 1941 until his retirement in 1977.
Hébert was born in New Orleans to Felix Joseph Hébert and the former Lea Naquin. As a student at Jesuit High School there, he reported on prep-school sports for his future employer, the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
He graduated in 1924 from Tulane University in New Orleans and was the first sports editor of the Tulane Hullabaloo. He was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and the Young Men's Business Club of New Orleans. On August 1, 1934, Hébert married the former Gladys Bofill, and the couple had one daughter, Dawn Marie (born c. 1936), who married a future judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, John Malcolm Duhé Jr., of Iberia Parish. The couple had four children, Kimberly Duhé Holleman (born c. 1957), Jeanne Duhé Sinitier, Edward Malcolm Duhé (born c. 1960), and Martin Bofill Duhé (born c. 1962).
Hébert pursued a career in public relations for Loyola University in New Orleans and journalism for the Times-Picayune and the New Orleans States, a paper purchased by The Times-Picayune while Hébert worked there. As a front-page columnist and political editor, he covered the candidacy and election of Governor Huey Long, who was eventually elected to the United States Senate. Hébert's coverage of the Louisiana Hayride scandals of 1939 — which put a spotlight on corruption among followers of the Long political family — contributed to the eventual convictions of Governor Richard W. Leche and James Monroe Smith, president of Louisiana State University. The Times-Picayune won the Sigma Delta Chi plaque for "courage in journalism", largely as a result of Hébert's work.
Hébert's work also led to his election in 1940 to the 77th United States Congress. He quickly developed a lock on his district. In 1946, he polled 91.8 percent of the vote against Republican Dennis Suarez in what was otherwise a heavily Republican year at the national level. Hébert served in the United States House of Representatives until the end of the 94th United States Congress, having chosen not to seek a nineteenth term in 1976. That longevity set a Louisiana record for the service in the United States House of Representatives. Hébert was temporarily succeeded by the Democrat Richard Alvin Tonry, who in turn was quickly replaced by Bob Livingston, the first Republican to represent the district since the Reconstruction Era. The seat has remained in Republican hands ever since, passing from Livingston to Bobby Jindal to Steve Scalise.
Hébert rarely had serious opposition. In 1952, the Republican George W. Reese Jr., a lawyer from New Orleans, challenged him and drew a third of the general election vote. In 1954, Reese tried again, but in the low turnout off-year election, he polled only a sixth of the vote. In 1960, Reese, then the Republican national committeeman from Louisiana, was also the Republican standard bearer in the United States Senate election against Allen J. Ellender but secured only a fifth of the ballots cast, as John F. Kennedy won Louisiana's then ten electoral votes.
Hébert opposed school desegregation and signed the Southern Manifesto in opposition to the United States Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision which moved against de jure segregation in seventeen states and the District of Columbia.
Hébert was the chairman of the United States House Committee on Armed Services from 1971–1975. He was removed from the chairmanship in a revolt of the increasingly young and liberal House Democratic Caucus against the seniority system. Many of the younger Democrats were not pleased when he addressed the new members from the Watergate Class of 1974 as "boys and girls". They considered him too amenable to the Pentagon. Hébert is responsible for founding the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Hébert died in New Orleans and is entombed there in Lake Lawn Park Mausoleum.
On January 28, 2012, Hébert, along with Fred Baden, former mayor of Pineville, and Adras LaBorde, former managing editor of the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, was posthumously inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. A banquet at the Winnfield Civic Center honored the inductees, three living and three deceased.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to F. Edward Hebert.|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Felix Edward Hébert
- United States Congress. "Felix Edward Hébert (id: H000437)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Oral History Interview with F. Edward Hebert, from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
- Who's Who in America, 1956-1957, p. 1141.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Joachim O. Fernández
|United States Representative for Louisiana's 1st congressional district
1941 – 1977
Richard Alvin Tonry
Philip J. Philbin
|Chairman of United States House Committee on Armed Services
Charles Melvin Price