Connick Sr. reportedly died peacefully at home surrounded by family, including his son Harry Connick Small.
Singer Harry Connick Jr.’s father, longtime New Orleans District Attorney Harry Connick Sr., has died at age 97.
Connick died peacefully at his home in New Orleans with his wife, Ronda, and children — Suzanne and Harry, 56 — by his side, according to an obituary shared by Harry Jr.’s publicist.
According to the Associated Press, Harry Sr. served as the New Orleans District Attorney from 1973 to 2003 and was re-elected four times before retiring in 2003 with an undefeated record.
In a statement provided to The Associated Press, current New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams expressed sympathy to the Connick family.
“Mr. Connick remains the longest-serving District Attorney, serving from 1973 to 2003. Such a long-serving public servant has made tremendous contributions to the community, as have their families. During this difficult time, our “My heart goes out to the Connick family,” he wrote.
Harry Sr. was born in Mobile, Alabama, on March 27, 1926, and moved to New Orleans when he was two years old. He served in the Navy during World War II, and after graduating from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he reportedly married Anita Frances Livingston, with whom he shared Susanna and baby Harry. new orleans Times Picayune,
Harry Sr. owned and operated two record stores in New Orleans around the time his children were born, according to Times Picayunehe and Harry Jr. later became one of the founders of the New Orleans music organization “Krewe of Orpheus”.
Like his son, Harry Sr. loved music and was a regular at many French Quarter clubs, according to the Associated Press.
His son regularly visits his father, whom he calls his “hero and inspiration.”
“Being with my dad – this is my favorite thing in the world!” the singer wrote in the caption. Instagram posts from October“I go to New Orleans to see him once a month, but it’s not enough! At 97 years old he is still my hero and inspiration… I love you so much, Dad!!!”
After Livingston died of cancer in 1981, Connick married Rhonda Jean Matherne in 1995.
Also reported on marriage to Barbara Bossetta Times Picayune Although no wedding date was given, it ended in divorce.
According to the Associated Press, Harry Sr., while serving as district attorney, led efforts to prevent prostitution and close adult bookstores in New Orleans in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and pushed for the death penalty in first-degree murder cases, sparking a backlash. Strong opposition from death penalty groups.
“He was driven by an incredible sense of justice,” defense attorney Ralph Capitelli, who served as Harry Sr.’s deputy for many years, told the media. Times-Picayune.
Pat Fanning, who served as Harry Sr.’s assistant before becoming a defense attorney, also described the latter’s working methods.
“He thought his job was to take those perpetrators off the street, not to rehabilitate them, but to put them somewhere where they wouldn’t hurt anyone else,” Fanning said.
In 1990, he was charged with racketeering and assisting a sports betting operation, but was ultimately acquitted and went on to serve as district attorney, the Associated Press reported.
Since his retirement, the elder Harry’s reputation has been challenged by claims that his office deliberately withheld evidence that would have been favorable to the defendants, according to the Associated Press.
The outlets pointed to a 2011 case in which John Thompson, who served 14 years in prison for a death he had nothing to do with after being indicted by Harry Sr.’s office, told the U.S. A lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court. arrive Times PicayuneA former prosecutor later revealed that he withheld evidence in the case, ultimately leading to Thompson’s conviction being overturned.
In a ruling that drew strong dissent from the late justice Ruth Bader GinsburgThe Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the New Orleans District Attorney’s Office and overturned the millions of dollars in payments Thompson received for his wrongful conviction.
According to multiple media reports, the Supreme Court ruling stated that the district attorney’s office should not be punished for not specifically training prosecutors to share evidence that could prove the defendant’s innocence.
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However, another case in 2014 caused the issue to be raised again, and although Harry Sr. did not comment at the time, he did discuss his “reputation” in a 2012 interview with The Washington Post, according to the Associated Press . Times-Picayune.
“My reputation is not based on anything other than one case or two cases or five cases or one interception or 20 interceptions,” he told the newspaper in 2012, according to two media reports. “Look at my The rest of the record… …perfect? No. But I didn’t do anything in that office to be repentant of. Absolutely.”
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