Morgan Goudeau

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Morgan Jefferson Goudeau, III

District Attorney for
St. Landry Parish, Louisiana
In office
January 3, 1973 – 1997​
Succeeded by Earl Taylor

Born June 13, 1929
Opelousas, Louisiana
Died September 23, 2016 (aged 87)​
Lafayette, Louisiana
Resting place St. John Cathedral Cemetery in Lafayette,
Nationality French-American
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) (1) Missing (divorced)

(2) Helen Josephine Roppolo Goudeau (married c. 1965-2016, his death)

Children From first marriage:

Chantal Goudeau Donne
Morgan J. Goudeau, IV
Christian Marc Goudau
From second marriage:
Helene Goudeau Florence
Angelle Goudeau MacDougall
Anne Goudeau Forand
Morgan, Jr., and Alma Chachere Goudeau
Alma mater:
Academy of the Immaculate Conception (Opelousas)
Louisiana State University
Georgetown University Law School​

Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Morgan Jefferson Goudeau, III (June 13, 1929 – September 23, 2016), was a Democratic attorney and politician from his native Opelousas, Louisiana. From 1973 to 1997, he was the district attorney for St. Landry Parish.


One of three children of Morgan Goudeau, Jr. (1905-1984), and the former Alma Chachere (1907-2004), he had two sisters. In 1945, Goudeau graduated from the Roman Catholic Academy of the Immaculate Conception in Opelousas, at which he was the co-captain of the 1944 state champion six-man football team.ll team. He was an Eagle Scout. In 1948, at the age of eighteen, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Louisiana State University in the capital city of Baton Rouge. He was affiliated with the Delta Kappa Epsilon social fraternity and Pi Gamma Mu honorary social science fraternity. He obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from the Catholic Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C., at which he was on the staff of the Georgetown Law Review. He was a U.S. Capitol Police officer while in law school and was admitted in 1952 to the practice of law in both the District of Columbia and Louisiana.[1]

Goudeau opened his law office in Opelousas on April 5, 1952, In 1955, he was appointed assistant DA of St. Landry Parish, a position he filled until 1973, when he was elected as district attorney, a post he filled for twenty-four years until his retirement. He served as president of the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association and was the Louisiana representative on the board of directors of the National District Attorney’s Association. He was also the first DA to have been inducted in 2005 into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame. An active Democrat, he managed the 1960 presidential campaign in south Louisiana on behalf of the victorious ticket of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, which defeated the Republican choice, Richard M. Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Goudeau was a delegate to numerous Democratic national conventions. For a time he was the vice-chairman of the state Democratic Party. However, he dissented from liberal national Democrats on the issue of abortion and was a longtime member of the National Right to Life Association and the Pro-Life Democrats organization.[1]

In 1986, he finished third with 36,304 votes (20 percent) in a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives for the since defunct 8th congressional district, long held by the late Gillis Long. Goudeau lost a runoff berth to African-American E. Faye Williams and the final winner, Republican Clyde Holloway, a forest nurseryman from Forest Hill in south Rapides Parish, who served in Congress from 1987 to 1993.[2]

Goudeau was the first president of the Opelousas-Eunice Library board and served as a directorof the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. He was also a director for the Opelousas Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Cattleman’s Association, and First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Opelousas. He was o a board member of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau and a lecturer in Criminal Justice at L.S.U. in Eunice. He was the first rector of the Cursillo Movement in the Diocese of Lafayette and a Eucharistic minister at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Opelousas.[1]

On his retirement, Goudeau and his second wife, the former Helen Josephine Roppolo (1940-2017), relocated to Lafayette, at which he was active in Rotary International, Crime Stoppers of Acadiana, and Holy Cross Catholic Church. The Goudeaus joined the Petroleum Club of Lafayette. He formerly raised Arabian horses and continued in the cattle business at his farm in Melville in St. Landry Parish. A master storyteller, he wrote his memoirs as a legacy for his children and grandchildren. He remembered details until the end of his life. He advised his children and grandchildren to “Be careful, but always take chances in life."[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Morgan J. Goudeau, III. Retrieved on January 16, 2020.
  2. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, September 27, 1986.