Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered the flags of the United States and the State of Louisiana to be flown at half-staff over the Capitol and all public buildings until sunset on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 in honor of former state legislator J. Kenneth Leithman who passed away on July 10, 2017.
“Louisiana has benefited greatly from the work of Rep. Leithman,” said Gov. Edwards. “He not only honorably served his community and state, but also his country, and was recognized as a distinguished military graduate by Loyola University for his service during the Pusan Perimeter in 1953. Treasured by many for his compassion, sincerity and genuine desire to help those in need, he dedicated much of his life to civic, community and religious service and was a man of great achievement in every capacity in which he served. We send our prayers to his beautiful family and dear friends.”
First elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1968, he was re-elected for three successive terms and was elected the first speaker pro tempore in Louisiana’s history. Additionally, Rep. Leithman was instrumental in passing legislation to build the second Mississippi River Bridge in New Orleans and the West Bank elevated expressway, as well as developing education policy for children with exceptionalities which served as model legislation for other states. After retiring from politics, he became the founding head coach of the men’s and women’s track programs at the University of New Orleans.