Former Louisiana Lt. Gov. Robert “Bobby” Freeman has died.

Former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards, who has been in contact with the family, said Freeman had been suffering from an inoperable aneurysm.

He was 82 years old.

“His whole career he served the interests of the people,” Edwards said in an interview Monday.

“He was just the kind of fair-minded person who thought you treat everybody fairly and equally and that government should do everything possible to help the disadvantaged,” Edwards recalled of his old friend.

Freeman, a lawyer from Plaquemine, represented parts of Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes from 1968 to 1980. He was House floor from Edwards during the early 1970s. Freeman was lieutenant governor from 1980 to 1988, then went on to serve as a city judge in Plaquemine from 1990 to 1996.

Freeman was instrumental during the 1980s in shifting oversight of the tourism industry and efforts from a state office to the lieutenant governor’s responsibility, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne said.

Recalling that Freeman was a member of the LSU boxing team int he 1950s — and later inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame — Dardenne said Freeman “was a fighter and very proud of his boxing career and that led him to be very passionate fighting for causes.”

Freeman, whose district included large petro-chemical plants and the homes of their workers, was a close ally of organized labor.

Former GOP state Sen. Robert Adley of Benton, who was in the House when Freeman was lieutenant governor, said, “Bobby was a very big hearted fellow. He was always positive about Louisiana and his people, regardless of his party and his philosophy, always for the little guy.”

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