2009 Louisiana Legends Honorees »»»
The only NFL player with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, this Shreveport native and LA Tech graduate continues to defy an easy pigeonhole. Terry Bradshaw’s accolades include four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, two-time Super Bowl MVP and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee. The first player chosen in the 1970 draft, Bradshaw became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in history. After his retirement from the sport in 1984, Bradshaw went on to become today’s preeminent NFL TV personality. His current role as co-host and analyst on the popular show, “Fox NFL Sunday” has proven to be a primary force in making the show America’s most-watched and four-time Emmy Award-winning pregame program. In addition, he has had a successful acting career that has included feature films such as Failure to Launch and Robots.William H. Gray
Baton Rouge native William H. Gray, III is the retired President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). During Gray’s 12 ½-year tenure, he raised $2.3 of the $3 billion raised by UNCF in its 60-year history. Prior to becoming President of UNCF, Gray served in the U.S. Congress. As the first African American to chair the House Budget Committee, he later became Chairman of the Democratic Caucus. He was also the first African-American in the 20th century to become Majority Whip of the House of Representatives. Gray currently serves as chairman of the Amani Group, a governmental, educational, and business advisory group.Joy Nalty Hodges
Numerous organizations have benefited from the services of Joy Nalty Hodges, a New Orleans native who now resides in Alexandria. She serves as Managing Partner for family owned enterprises including Hodges Natural Resources and Hodges Land Management. For twenty-seven years she has been a Director and Vice President of W.H. Hodges and Co., Inc. Additional business leadership roles have included the National Livestock Marketing Association and the National Livestock Industry Institute. She is a member of the Board of the Forest Landowners’ Association, and the Louisiana Forestry Association, where she served consecutive terms as the first female president, and was named the First Lady of Louisiana Forestry. Her deep commitment to community service, education and the church have included leadership roles in organizations such as the St. Mary’s Residential Training Center, YWCA, United Way, Salvation Army, Alexandria Museum of Art and many others. Her awards include Humanitarian Award, Service Above Self Award, and the Servus Fidelis Award among others.Jimmy D. Long
Natchitoches native Jimmy D. Long, Sr. served eight consecutive terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives and was recognized as the Dean of Legislature. He became one of the most respected figures in state government through consistent leadership, integrity and command of the legislative process. Long has served as a member of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana school system since 2001, two of those years he was chair. He chaired the House Education Committee for 16 years and was considered the leading authority in the Legislature on educational issues. Long was the guiding force in the creation of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and Arts in Natchitoches and was an effective political supporter of Northwestern State University, helping to obtain millions of dollars for the university. His community service and accolades are numerous, including being named one of the “100 Most Influential People of the Century in Northwest Louisiana.”Ken Wells
Ken Wells, acclaimed journalist and novelist, grew up deep in Cajun bayou country. He began his journalism career covering car wrecks and gator sightings for the weekly Houma Courier newspaper. He has gone on to an illustrious career: a Pulitzer Prize finalist for the Miami Herald; editor of two Pulitzer-Prize-winning projects for Page One of The Wall Street Journal where, over a 24-year period, he also roamed the globe covering the first Persian Gulf War, South Africa’s transition to a multiracial democracy and many other stories. He has since worked as senior editor for Conde Nast Portfolio magazine and is now is senior editor for Bloomberg Markets magazine in New York. Ken is also the author of four well-received novels of the Cajun bayous: Meely LaBauve (a 2000 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers book); Junior’s Leg (2001); Logan’s Storm (2002); and Crawfish Mountain (2007). He has also penned two non-fiction books: Travels with Barley (2004), a travelogue through America’s $75 billion beer industry, and The Good Pirates of the Forgotten Bayous, a story of blue-collar heroism in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Pirates, published last year by Yale University Press, was nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize.