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Lillian Walker (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lillian W. Walker
Louisiana State Representative for
 East Baton Rouge Parish
In office
Preceded byFour at-large members:

William F. "Bill" Bernhard, Jr.
Eugene Webb McGehee
A. T. "Apple" Sanders, Jr.

Jack M. Dyer
Succeeded byClark Gaudin (single-member district)
Personal details
Born(1923-05-08)May 8, 1923
Meridian, Lauderdale County
DiedDecember 22, 2016(2016-12-22) (aged 93)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Resting placeGreenoaks Mausoleum in Baton Rouge
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Edward Everett Walker (married c. 1942-1998, his death)
ChildrenEdward Theodore Walker
Betti Helen Walker Buhler
ParentsRudolph Blanche and Maggie Elizabeth George Walker
ResidenceBaton Rouge, Louisiana
OccupationInsurance agent
Political and social activist

Lillian Walker Walker, known as Lillian W. Walker (May 8, 1923 – December 22, 2016),[1] was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, who served two terms from 1964 to 1972,[2] corresponding with the administration of Governor John J. McKeithen, her fellow Democrat.

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After two terms in the state House, Walker was narrowly unseated in the general election held on February 1, 1972, by the Republican Clark Gaudin, also of Baton Rouge. Gaudin polled 6,949 votes (51 percent) to Walker’s 6,645 (49 percent).[3] Only the fourth Republican in the Louisiana legislature since Reconstruction, Gaudin had served a partial term from 1967 to 1968, having won a special election created by the resignation of Luther F. Cole,[2] who became a judge of the 19th Judicial District Court.

For most of her legislative tenure, Walker was the only woman among the 105 House members. She was the first woman legislator in Louisiana who did not succeed a husband in the office.[1] In 1969, she was joined by Helen L. Laperouse of New Iberia, who followed her late husband, Lionel Laperouse, Jr. And in 1971, Dorothy Mae Taylor of New Orleans became the first African American female representative.[4] Early in her tenure, Walker persuaded Governor McKeithen to establish the Louisiana Commission on the Status of Women.[5]

On November 2, 1982, more than a decade after her state House service ended, Walker was elected to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. For that position, she defeated, 56-44 percent, the long-term Democratic Party chairman, Jesse Bankston, also of Baton Rouge.[6]

A native of Meridian in Lauderdale County in eastern Mississippi, Walker had the maiden name of "Walker" too. Her parents were Rudolph Blanche Walker and the former Maggie Elizabeth George.[1] She was an alternate delegate from Louisiana to the 1960 Democratic National Convention, which met in Los Angeles to nominate the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson ticket,[7] which scored an easy victory in Louisiana over the Republican Richard M. Nixon.

In 1996, Walker was inducted into the Louisiana Center for Women and Government Hall of Fame at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, along with the posthumous recognition of another Baton Rouge political figure, Betty Heitman, co-chairwoman from 1983 to 1987 of the Republican National Committee. In 2002, she was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame based in the Chamber of Commerce office in Winnfield.[8]

Until his death, Walker was married for fifty-six years to Edward E. Walker (1921–1998).[1]

Walker was a charter member in 1956 of the Broadmoor Presbyterian Church at 9340 Florida Boulevard in Baton Rouge; she was the captain of its first building fund in 1957. She died at her home in Baton Rouge at the age of ninety-three. She is entombed at Greenoaks Mausoleum in Baton Rouge.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Lillian W. Walker". The Baton Rouge Advocate. December 26, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812–2008" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 31, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  3. ^ State of Louisiana, Secretary of State, Election returns for state representative, February 1, 1972
  4. ^ "Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus". Archived from the original on January 26, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  5. ^ "Janet Allured, "Timeline of women's movement in Louisiana"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 18, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
  6. ^ "Louisiana general election returns, November 2, 1982". Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "Index to Politicians, Walker, K-N". Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  8. ^ "Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on July 3, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Four at-large members

William F. "Bill" Bernhard, Jr.
Eugene Webb McGehee
A. T. "Apple" Sanders, Jr.
Jack M. Dyer

Louisiana State Representative for East Baton Rouge Parish

Lillian Walker Walker

Succeeded by
Clark Gaudin
This page was last edited on 11 January 2021, at 19:10
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