Henry Braden

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Henry English "Hank" Braden, IV
Louisiana State Senator or District 3 (Orleans Parish)
In office
Preceded by Sidney Barthelemy
Succeeded by Dennis R. Bagneris
Personal details
Born (1944-08-24)August 24, 1944
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Died July 15, 2013(2013-07-15) (aged 68)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cause of death Congestive heart failure
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michele Braden
Children Heidi, Remi, Hal, and Nick Braden
Alma mater

St. Augustine High School
Le Moyne College

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Occupation Lawyer; Lobbyist

Henry English Braden, IV, known as Hank Braden (August 24, 1944 – July 15, 2013), was an African-American lawyer, lobbyist, and Democratic politician from his native New Orleans, Louisiana.


Braden was born to Irma and Dr. Henry E. Braden, III, the first African-American member of the Orleans Parish Medical Society and the first of his race to sit on the boards of New Orleans Charity Hospital and Tulane University. In 1961, Braden graduated from Roman Catholic St. Augustine High School in New Orleans.[1] In 1965, Braden received an undergraduate degree from the Roman Catholic Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. He procured his law degree in 1975 from another Roman Catholic institution, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

From 1965 to1974, Braden was an executive director of the New Orleans Poverty Agency and was active in the National Urban League of the New Orleans metropolitan area. He was affiliated with the Total Community Action Agency and its Central City Health Clinic, run by former State Representative Dorothy Mae Taylor, the first African-American woman to serve in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Through this agency and clinic, a generation of rising black politicians were groomed.[2]

From 1974 to 1975, Braden was the municipal director for manpower and economic development under Mayor Moon Landrieu, father of later U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.[3]

Political career[edit]

In 1978, Braden won a special election to the Louisiana State Senate to fill the District 3 seat vacated by the African American Sidney Barthelemy, who stepped down upon election to the New Orleans City Council. In the race, Braden defeated State Representative Louis J. Charbonnet by only fourteen votes.[1]

Braden was elected to a full Senate term in 1979 but was unseated in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 22, 1983,[4] by fellow African American Dennis R. Bagneris, much later a still-serving judge of the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans. Bagneris polled 16,779 votes (54 percent) to Braden's 14,322 (46 percent). In that same election Edwin Edwards returned to the governorship when he handily defeated incumbent Republican David C. Treen.[5]

As a state senator, Braden was also a member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C. From 1986 to 1994, he was an advisor to Mayor Barthelemy, whom he had worked to elect. Braden was active in the black political organization COUP, which dominated the Seventh Ward. COUP was in conflict with another group LIFE, loyal to former Mayor Ernest Morial, the first African-American in the mayoral office, and to Morial's son, Marc Morial, another later mayor. Accustomed to taking passionate positions, Braden was once involved in a fist fight with former city councilman and police chief Joe Giarrusso; the confrontation occurred at the original Ruth’s Chris Steak House on Broad Street in New Orleans.[1]

In his later years, Braden was a lobbyist and consultant for clients in New Orleans as well as statewide and nationally.[3]

Death and legacy[edit]

Braden died of congestive heart failure in a New Orleans hospital at the age of sixty-eight. His survivors included his wife, Michele, and four children, Heidi, Remi, Hal, and Nick, and grandson Jack Cooper.[3] Remi Braden is the director of public affairs for the New Orleans Police Department.[1]

New Orleans journalist Clancy DuBos said of Braden: "Hank loved politics and public service and was among the most insightful politicians I have ever covered.".[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Dominic Massa, "Former state senator Henry "Hank" Braden, IV, dies at 68", July 15, 2013". WWL-TV News. Archived from the original on July 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ Michael Radcliff (June 14, 2011). "Remembering Dorothy Mae Taylor: The First Lady of 1300 Perdido St.". The Louisiana Weekly. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Henry "Hank" Braden, IV". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, July 16, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2012" (PDF). legis.state.la.us. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Louisiana primary election returns, October 22, 1983". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
Preceded by
Sidney Barthelemy
Louisiana State Senator for District 3 (Orleans Parish)

Henry English "Hank" Braden, IV

Succeeded by
Dennis R. Bagneris