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Ledet To Be Honored At Hall Of Fame Banquet

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / June 29, 1998

NATCHITOCHES – Former L’Observateur executive editor Harold Joseph (Hal) Ledet will be honored with the Louisiana Sportswriters Association’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism during the annual Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet tonight in Natchitoches.

Ledet was chosen for the award by the LSWA’s 25-member Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee. He will be joined by the 1998Hall of Fame induction class of Everson Walls, Eun Jung Lee Ok, Warren Braden, Pat Browne, Luke Jackson, Billy Hardin and John Petibon.

During his 33-year journalism career, Ledet received 236 journalism awards from such groups as the Press Club of New Orleans, Louisiana Sportswriters Association, Louisiana Press Association, the Catholic Press Association and the Associated Press. The Louisiana SportswritersAssociation’s top writing award is named in his memory.

Ledet was cited by Editor and Publisher magazine for having won more journalism awards than anyone in American history for his writing, photography and newspaper design. He was nominated for the PulitizerPrize for feature writing in 1979 and 1981.

A native of Pointe-aux-Chenes, Louisiana, and a longtime resident of Metairie, Ledet graduated from Tulane University.

He started his long-time career as sports editor of the Houma Courier before becoming sports editor and later editor of The Clarion Herald.

Ledet became the editor of L’Observateur in the late 1970s and also served as a New Orleans correspondent for the Baton Rouge Advocate. Healso worked as director of information for the Louisiana Heart Association and media relations director for Freeport-McMoran.

Ledet served two terms as president of the LSWA and later became the fifth person in its history to be voted a lifetime membership in recognition of his professional achievements and contributions to the organization.

He also served two terms as president of the Press Club of New Orleans and was a member of its board of directors as well as chairman of the Editorial Board of the National Catholic Press Association.

For all his accomplishemnts, Ledet will probably be best remembered for looking out for young journalists.

“He was very dedicated to the cause of journalism in Louisiana,” longtime friend George Gurtner said. “He was very dedicated to the printed word andall it could do. He was a well-rounded communications expert and had anenormous sense of humor.”Ledet, who passed away in April of 1989, joins 26 other journalists who have received the Distingished Service Award. He is survived by his wife,the former Juanita Fernandez, two daughters, Cecile and Theresa; one son, Marcel; and several grandchildren.

Induction ceremonies will be held at 7 p.m. in the Northwestern LouisianaUniversity Student Union Ballroom.

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