Skip to Main Content

A.P. Tureaud, Legendary Louisiana Lawyer: Legacy

Biographical information about A.P. Tureaud, legendary Louisiana civil rights lawyer.

Statue of Tureaud opening a gate. (the Gates of Justice).In 1957, Tureaud established the Louis A. Martinet Society, a statewide organization of black lawyers. He believed this would help advance the profession as a whole, and help nurture future black leaders. One such young lawyer who Tureaud took into his law practice, Ernest "Dutch" Morial, would eventually become the first black legislator in the state legislature since Reconstruction and New Orleans' first black elected mayor. Another Tureaud protégé, Israel Augustine Jr., would later become the first black judge elected in the Orleans Criminal District Court, whose building is now named after the judge. 

In 1958, Tureaud decided to run for Congress against an incumbent who was a white supremacist. Though he knew that he was unlikely to win, as black voters totaled only 17,000 compared to 30,000 white voters, he hoped that by running for office he would set an example for future black leaders.

Tureaud passed away on January 22, 1972 at the age of 72. His longtime friend and ally United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall gave the eulogy. 

Historic landmark plaque, demarcating building as the home of Alexander Pierre Tureaud, Sr. A white New Orleans style home stands behind the plaque.In 1981, Mayor Dutch Morial dedicated the Central Office Building of the Housing Authority of New Orleans as the A.P. Tureaud Building. Morial also spearheaded the effort to re-name part of London Avenue to A.P. Tureaud Avenue, which runs between St. Bernard Avenue and Broad Street. In 1994, at the request of the parents of children attending the Marie Couvent School, the Orleans Parish School Board re-named the school after A.P. Tureaud. In 1997, A.P. Tureaud Civil Rights Memorial Park was opened, at the corner of St. Bernard and A.P. Tureaud Avenues. The American Inn of Court in New Orleans, a legal fraternity, also re-named itself in his honor. In 2008, the United States Department of the Interior designated the Tureaud home a historic landmark. In 2010, the A.P. Tureaud Legacy Committee was established with the mission to educate the public about Tureaud's life and achievements, including scholarships to students who embody his commitment to civil rights and public events. A.P. Tureaud, Jr. commissioned a portrait of his father by renowned artist Ulrick Jean-Pierre. In 2010, a copy of this portrait was hung at Tureaud, Sr.'s alma mater Howard University Law School. In 2014, A.P. Tureaud, Jr. also gifted the Louisiana Supreme Court a copy of the portrait, the first portrait of an African-American attorney at the Court. A copy was also gifted to LSU.

Left image: Statue of Tureaud opening the gates to justice in the A.P. Tureaud Civil Rights Memorial Park. Right image: Plaque commemorating Tureaud's achievements outside his family home.