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Morial, Marc H. (1958-) | Amistad Research Center

Name: Morial, Marc H. (1958-)
Fuller Form: Morial, Marc H. (Marc Haydel)


Historical Note:

Lawyer and politician, Marc Morial served as a senator in the Louisiana senate and as a two-term mayor of the city of New Orleans. He held various positions within the U.S. Conference of Mayors and currently serves as president of the National Urban League.

Marc Haydel Morial was born in 1958 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Morial's father, Ernest N. "Dutch" Morial was elected the first African American Mayor of New Orleans in 1978.  Morial graduated from Jesuit High School in 1976, and went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 with a degree in both economics and African American Studies.  In 1983, Morial earned a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, and in 2002, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Law from Xavier University, New Orleans.

Morial practiced as an Associate with Barham & Churchill from 1983 to 1985.  While with that firm he distinguished himself as one of the youngest lawyers to argue and win a case before the Louisiana Supreme Court.  The Shropshire Decision, handed down in 1984, made police reports public records under Louisiana State Law.  Morial then practiced law privately from 1985 until 1994. He also worked as an adjunct professor of Political Science at Xavier University from 1987 to 1990.

In 1991, Mayor Morial was elected State Senator for District Four.  Although he only served until 1994, in two short years the Senator authored over 50 bills and acted as co-author of over 90 bills that became law.  His outstanding work earned him the title of "Rookie of the Year" from the Baton Rouge Business Report in 1992, and he was named to the "All Rookie Team 1993" by political columnist John Maginnis.

Out of experience gained from both his political career in the Louisiana Senate and his private practice in law, Morial launched his first bid for Mayor of the City of New Orleans in 1994.  He was elected that year and again for a second term in 1998.  During his tenure, the City's violent crime rate was reduced 60%, his administration focused on implementing fairness into the City's contracting policies, and outreach to minority businesses was increased. Morial was an active participant in the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) and his duties with that organization included Chairman of the Arts committee, and member of task forces on fiscal affairs, homelessness and hunger.  From 1999 to 2000 he acted as Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Conference.  He became Vice-President of the Conference for 2000 to 2001, and went on to act as its President from 2001 to 2002.  While a member of the USCM, Morial won the Richard J. Daley Award and received the City Livability Award on behalf of New Orleans.  During the end of his second tenure as mayor, Morial sought to amend the city charter so that he could run for a third term.  This amendment failed, however, and Morial ended his political career in city government.

Marc Morial married news anchorwoman Michelle Miller in 1999.  He has a daughter, Kemah, and Michelle and Marc have a son, Mason, together. Following his tenure as Mayor of New Orleans he joined the law firm Adams & Reese, LLP as part of their governmental relations business team. In 2003, Morial was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer for the National Urban League located in New York.

Sources: Papers of Marc H. Morial
Note Author: Laura J. Beechen





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