Blake Pontchartrain: The oldest and youngest mayors of New Orleans_lowres


Hey Blake,

With the city swearing in its first female mayor in 2018, who was the city's oldest mayor to take office? Who was the youngest to be elected?

Dear reader,

  The oldest man sworn in as mayor of New Orleans also was the first. Jean Etienne de Bore was 61 when he was appointed the city's first mayor in 1803. He also is known as a leader in the sugar trade, perfecting a method to granulate sugar. De Bore served only one year as mayor before resigning.

  Louis Wiltz was just 29 when he was elected mayor during Reconstruction and remains the city's youngest mayor. Born in New Orleans in 1843, he was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1868 and became speaker of the House. In 1872, the Republican Party refused to recognize his election as mayor of New Orleans, and their candidate, incumbent Benjamin Franklin Flanders, refused to step down. According to the book Administrations of the Mayors of New Orleans, that prompted Wiltz and his administrators to storm City Hall. "He (Wiltz) then demanded boldly ... that Mr. Flanders should vacate the chair which he (Wiltz) claimed by virtue of a popular election. Mr. Flanders at first refused to comply, but being threatened with ejection, concluded to retire." Wiltz served two years before being elected Louisiana's lieutenant governor, and in 1879 he was elected governor.

  Among 20th-century mayors of New Orleans, Paul Capdevielle was the oldest, 58, when he took office in 1900. DeLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison was the youngest mayor in modern times. He was 34 when elected in 1946, after returning from World War II as a decorated U.S. Army colonel. Morrison also was one of the longest-serving mayors. His term in City Hall spanned 15 years, second only to Mayor Martin Behrman, who served 16 years.

  Current Mayor Mitch Landrieu was 49 when he was elected to the seat in 2010. His successor, LaToya Cantrell, will be 46 when she takes office in May.