LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) – Edmund Reggie, who managed John F. Kennedy’s Louisiana campaign and whose daughter later married Sen. Edward Kennedy, has died at his home in Lafayette. He was 87.
His family issued a statement saying Reggie died Tuesday morning, without providing further details.
“We are comforted by his deep faith and memories of his wonderful sense of humor, good nature, sharp mind and the love he gave all of us,” son Ed Michael Reggie said in the statement.
Born to immigrant parents from Lebanon, Reggie spent his life in politics, working as a Crowley city judge for 25 years, serving as executive counsel to former Gov. Edwin Edwards and holding other appointed positions in government.
Edwards, in a statement to KLFY-TV, offered sympathy to Reggie’s family.
“We met in 1949 when I moved to his hometown of Crowley and for 64 years, we were close personal and political friends,” Edwards said. “He was a legal scholar and a great judge and I have never had a better friend. I shall miss him.”
Reggie was an ally of former Gov. Earl Long and campaigned for him, making speeches on Long’s behalf around the state. He also helped run successful campaigns for Edwards and former Gov. John McKeithen.
“I’d just like people to look at my career and say, `He tried to help us all do a little better,'” Reggie said in February 2004 when he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.
According to the Hall of Fame, Reggie became the nation’s youngest judge when he was appointed to the position in 1950 at the age of 24 to fill a vacant judgeship. He was then elected to the job repeatedly until he retired in 1976.
He was a close friend of the Kennedy family, after first meeting the future president as a delegate to the 1956 Democratic convention. In 1960, Reggie co-chaired JFK’s presidential campaign efforts in Louisiana.
His daughter, Victoria, was married to Sen. Edward Kennedy from 1992 until his death in 2009.
Reggie was fined $30,000 and sentenced to three years’ probation in the 1990s after being found guilty in federal court of swapping a loan to real estate brokers from his savings and loan for a promise from the brokers to buy land from another of his business ventures.
Reggie is survived by his wife, six children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His funeral will be held Friday at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Crowley.
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