WRKF

Kathleen Blanco

Wallis Watkins / WRKF

A three-day celebration of the life of Kathleen Babineaux Blanco begins Thursday in Baton Rouge.

Stephanie Landry

Louisiana's first female governor, Kathleen Blanco, passed away Sunday, August 18, after a battle with cancer.

Blanco was 76. She had been diagnosed with her second round of cancer in 2017 and died at a Lafayette hospice center she entered earlier this year.

Blanco served as governor from 2004 to 2008, choosing not to run for a second term after having led the state through Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which devastated the region.  

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco: a carpet cleaner’s daughter from New Iberia turned school teacher turned stay-at-home mom turned…Louisiana's first female governor. In 2003, her focus was on education reform, juvenile justice, and economic development. And halfway into her first and only term, it looked like she had a good chance at re-election. But that all changed, with Hurricane Katrina. 

Stephanie Landry

Louisiana Cultural Vistas Magazine is traveling the state asking former governors for a job description. Kathleen Blanco was the first woman elected governor in Louisiana, but she wasn't always interested in politics.


Rita Remembered

Sep 24, 2015
NOAA

Ten years ago today, the second of 2005’s hurricane one-two punches hit southwest Louisiana.

“Hurricane Rita is aiming at Louisiana. It will impact much of the coastline from the Texas border over to St. Mary Parish,” then-Governor Kathleen Blanco warned the day before landfall.


Stephanie Landry

Former Governor Kathleen Blanco stood at the center of a political storm that swirled around the response to Hurricane Katrina. Like all of us who were here for the storm and its aftermath, her memories are filled with stories of fear and courage, heartbreak and healing. She shares the moment when Katrina transformed from pure tragedy to trust in the resilience of Louisiana's citizens.


Guest host Bob Mann analyzes the last day of the 2013 Louisiana session with two close observers of the legislature, Jan Moller of the Louisiana Budget Project and journalist Tyler Bridges of The Lens.

And we talk about the state's economic development efforts with former Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.