LOUISIANA, USA — Raymond Blanco, who was married to former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, died in Lafayette on Saturday, according to our partners at NOLA.com.
Blanco was 87 years old and his health was declining.
Blanco was the assistant coach at the University of Louisiana Lafayette from 1963-1969. He was the dean of men from 1969 till 1972 when he became the dean of students.
Starting in 1982, Blanco served in the capacity of Vice President for Student Affairs until he retired in 20090. He was the First Gentleman of Louisiana from 2004-2008 due to being married to Kathleen Blanco. He also served as her chief political advisor.
Kathleen Blanco passed away in 2019. The couple had six children.
"Coach Blanco once said that students were among his best friends – and our students never had a better friend, or fiercer advocate, than Raymond Blanco," UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie said in a statement. "His devotion to their success and his belief in social justice created a legacy that remains deeply rooted in our University’s culture."
Governor John Bel Edwards released a statement on Blanco's passing.
"The son of immigrants and a devout Catholic, Coach believed in social justice and educational opportunities for all, passions he shared with his late wife Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco," Edwards said. "He was Louisiana’s first, and so far only, 'First Gentleman,' but he’d be the first to tell you that he won’t be the last."