Ledet’s daughters accept service award

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 1998

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / July 1, 1998

NATCHITOCHES – Former L’Observateur sports editor and editor Harold Joseph “Hal” Ledet joined the likes of Hap Glaudi, Bud Montet and John Ferguson when he received the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Saturday night in the Student Union Ballroom on the campus of Northwestern State University.

But while Ledet followed in the legacy of those great sports journalists, it is the legacy he left behind that he will be most remembered for.

“We are here tonight to honor those persons in sports not for their records but those where their achievements carried beyond them,” long-time friend and Baton Rouge Advocate sportswriter George Gurtner said. “Thereare sportswriters like that. Hal Ledet was one of those.”Ledet started as the sports editor at the Houma Courrier and later became sports editor and editor at The Clarion-Ledger. He became the editor ofL’Observateur in the late 1970s and also served as a New Orleans correspondent for the Advocate.

Gurtner, who worked with Ledet at the Advocate, once asked him why he pushed himself so hard to write about the games people play.

Ledet replied, “No matter what we do in life, we need to leave something great behind so that others can follow and shoot for those heights.”It can be said Ledet certainly left something great behind for others to follow.

Ledet, who passed away in 1989, joined 26 other journalists who have received the award, the most prestigious honor given to sports media personnel in Louisiana by their peers. It follows 236 other awards Ledetreceived in his distinguished 33-year career. He was cited by Editor andPublisher magazine for having won more journalism awards than anyone in American history.

In closing his remarks, Gurtner recalled the words Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw used at his induction, shaking his hand skyward and giving thanks to the late Pittsburgh owner Art Rooney.

“Hal, you set the standard and thank you very much,” Gurtner said.

Ledet’s daughters Theresa and Cecile accepted the award for their father.

“I want to thank you for honoring our father,” Theresa Ledet said. “Sportsand writing were his two greatest passions. He was one of those blessedpeople who got to do what he loved best.”Cecile Ledet said her first remembrance of her father’s awards were those posted on a white peg board in the hallway of their home.

“That peg board is gone,” Cecile Ledet said in an emotional speech. Wehave fond memories of it. It gives us great comfort to know his works willalways be remembered here at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.”Ledet was joined by the seven members of the 1998 Hall of Fame induction class of Southern quarterback Warren Braden, Jesuit and Notre Dame football player John Petitbon, Olympian Billy Hardin, Northeast Louisiana University basketball player Eun Jung Lee Ok, Bastrop basketball player Luke Jackson, U.S. Golf champion Pat Browne and Grambling football playerEverson Walls.

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