Marc Morial

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marc Morial
Marc Morial in 2018.jpg
59th Mayor of New Orleans
In office
May 2, 1994 – May 6, 2002
Preceded bySidney Barthelemy
Succeeded byRay Nagin
59th President of the United States Conference of Mayors
In office
Preceded byBrent Coles
Succeeded byThomas Menino
Member of the Louisiana Senate
from the 4th district
In office
Preceded byBen Bagert
Succeeded byPaulette Irons
Personal details
Marc Haydel Morial

(1958-01-03) January 3, 1958 (age 65)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseMichelle Miller
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania (BA)
Georgetown University (JD)

Marc Haydel Morial /ˌmɔːriˈæl/ (born January 3, 1958) is an American political and civic leader and the current president of the National Urban League. Morial served as Mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002 [1] as the city's youngest Mayor,[2] President of the United States Conference of Mayors in 2001, and as a Louisiana State Senator from 1992 to 1994.[3]

Morial was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. After completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and receiving his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1983,[4] he began his career as a lawyer in New Orleans and in 1985 he established a private law practice there.

In 2021, Harvard University published a case study, profiling Morial, called Embracing the Uphill Struggle: Marc Morial's Quest for Corporate Diversity.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Marc Morial was born January 3, 1958, to Ernest N. "Dutch" Morial and Sybil (Haydel) Morial, an elementary school teacher, Xavier University of New Orleans dean and civic activist. He is the second of five children. He was raised in Pontchartrain Park, a subdivision of New Orleans.

Morial went on to graduate Jesuit High School in New Orleans as a member of the National Honor Society. He was one of only 14 Black students of 1,000 at Jesuit High School, he founded the Student Association for Black Achievement, and organized the school's first Black History Month celebration.[6]

Morial was included in Who’s Who Among High School Students and Who’s Who in America and Outstanding Young Men of America in high school.[7]

In 1980 Morial earned a bachelor's degree in economics and African American studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Morial earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1983 from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.[8] At Georgetown, he was elected first-year Delegate to the Student Bar Association and served as a member and head of fundraising for the National Black Law Students Association.

Early career[edit]

After working during his third year in law school for the late U.S. Rep. Mickey Leland, he returned to New Orleans to join the firm Barham and Churchill.[9]

In 1985, Morial established a private law practice in New Orleans.[10]

After a narrow defeat in his first race for public office for Louisiana second congressional district, Morial was elected as Louisiana State senator in 1991 where he served until 1994 before being elected Mayor of New Orleans.[3]

State senator[edit]

As a Louisiana State Senator (1992–94), Morial was Chairman of the Educational Institution Subcommittee; and member of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.[11]

Mayor of New Orleans[edit]

Marc Morial was elected Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana in 1994 by defeating Donald Mintz with 54% of the vote.[12] He’s the youngest person elected Mayor of New Orleans in 50 years and at the time, one of the youngest mayors of a major American city.[13] He campaigned with the promise to "clean out City Hall with a shovel not a broom."[14]

Morial won re-election to a second term in 1998, receiving 80% of the votes.

During his time as Mayor, the rate of violent crime in New Orleans fell by 50%."[15][16]

From 2001 to 2002, Morial was President of the United States Conference of Mayors.[17]

Conference of Mayors[edit]

Morial was elected President of the United States Conference of Mayors by membership and served as chief spokesperson for America’s Cities (2001–02). In addition to his time as President, he also served as the organization’s Chairman for the Committee on Arts,[18] Chairman for the Federal Budget Task Force,[19] and Chairman for the Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness,[20] and Vice President,[21] among other positions.

National Urban League[edit]

In 2003, Morial was selected to head the National Urban League.

In 2004, Morial added a new metric, the Equality Index, to the League's annual State of Black America.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Marc Morial is married to CBS journalist Michelle Miller, whom he married at St Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. They have two children.

Morial is Catholic.[23]


Morial has written two non-fiction books, published speeches, weekly newspaper columns and a weekly newsletter, “ReMarcs” for the National Urban League.

  • “A National Action Plan for America’s Cities,” The Urban Lawyer: The National Quarterly on State and Local Government Law, Volume 34 Number 3, Summer 2002.
  • “Decisions of Courage,” a Book of Speeches by Mayor Marc H. Morial from his first term as Mayor of New Orleans. 1998
  • “To Be Equal,” a weekly newspaper column. 2003 – Present
  • The Gumbo Coalition - 2020[24]

Presidential Commissions[edit]

Morial served as Chair of the Census Advisory Committee (2010),[25] and a member President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability (2012-2015).[26] He was also appointed to the Twenty-First Century Workforce Commission by President Bill Clinton (1998-2000).[27]


  1. ^ Gordon, Ed (September 1, 2005). "Former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial". NPR. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  2. ^ Sutton, Will. "Marc Morial weaves leadership lessons into the story of his life in book 'Gumbo Coalition'".
  3. ^ a b "Morial, Marc H. (1958-) | Amistad Research Center". Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  4. ^ Retrieved 2020-05-30. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Embracing the Uphill Struggle: Marc Morial's Quest for Corporate Diversity".
  6. ^ Stelly, Phillip. "Jesuit commemorates 50th anniversary of integration". The Louisiana Weekly. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Mayor Marc H. Morial, Intergovernmental Relations Division, Records of the Office of Boards and Commissions". Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  8. ^ "Biography". Marc H. Morial. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Morial, Marc H. (1958-) | Amistad Research Center". Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  10. ^ "Marc Morial | National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  11. ^ "LLBC". Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  12. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State Election Results, 5 March 1994, Mayor City of New Orleans.
  13. ^ columnist, WILL SUTTON | Staff. "Marc Morial weaves leadership lessons into the story of his life in book 'Gumbo Coalition'". Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  14. ^ Morial, Marc (1998). Decisions Of Courage: The Speeches of Mayor Marc H. Morial. New Orleans. p. 7. ISBN 0-966-1300-0-6.
  15. ^ Morial, Marc (2020). The Gumbo Coalition. Harper Collins. p. 22. ISBN 9781400216284.
  16. ^ Bragg, Rick (17 February 1998). "New Orleans Mayor Thrives on Lower Crime and Lifted Spirit". New York Times.
  17. ^ "United States Conference of Mayors: Past Presidents. (n.d.)". Archived from the original on 2015-07-02.
  18. ^ Americans For The Arts {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Bipartisan Policy Center Launches Debt Reduction Task Force".
  20. ^ "Homelessness Report". C-SPAN.
  21. ^ Beechen, Laura. "Morial, Marc H. (1958-)". Amistad Research Center.
  22. ^ Smith, Alonzo; "Empowering Communities. Changing Lives. 100 Years of the National Urban League and Black America, The Donning Company, page 118, ISBN 978-1-57864-683-8
  23. ^ Seligson, Susan (2016). "Making History". Bostonia. Retrieved 2021-05-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ "The Gumbo Coalition - Marc Morial". HarperCollins Leadership. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  25. ^ "Marc H. Morial | Charter". Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  26. ^ "The President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability". Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  27. ^ "Marc H. Morial | Charter". Retrieved 2020-06-22.

External links[edit]

Louisiana State Senate
Preceded by
Ben Bagert
Member of the Louisiana Senate
from the 4th district

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of New Orleans
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the United States Conference of Mayors
Succeeded by
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by President of the National Urban League