| Robert John Angers, Jr.|
(Louisiana journalist and
|Born|| October 10, 1919 |
Abbeville, Vermilion Parish
|Died|| October 13, 1988 (aged 69) |
M. D. Anderson Medical Center
|Political Party|| Democrat, 1940-1960; Republican, 1960-1974; Independent, 1974-1988
|Spouse|| Geraldine Isabelle Beaulieu Angers (married, 1941-1988, his death)|
Robert John Angers, Jr. (October 20, 1919 – October 13, 1988), was an American journalist, businessman, and conservative politician. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography describes Angers as "a tireless and unselfish promoter of good government, the Acadiana region, and free enterprise."
Angers was born in Abbeville in Vermilion Parish, to Robert J. Angers (1894–1965) and the former Anna Mae Nunez (1898–1988). Angers graduated from Catholic High School in New Iberia. In 1940, he procured his Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
During World War II, Angers was a major of the United States Army's 24th Infantry Regiment. He received the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Bronze Star. In 1949, Angers graduated from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Angers began his journalism career upon graduation from LSU with his hometown Abbeville Progress. After wartime service, he became in 1945 the advertising manager of the Weekly Iberian and New Iberia Enterprise. With his father and brother, Allen, Angers co-owned Angers Real Estate Agency in New Iberia from 1946 to 1950, when he became the publisher of the Franklin Banner-Tribune in Franklin in St. Mary Parish. During his fifteen years at The Banner-Tribune, the newspaper converted from a weekly to a daily publication and won 150 state and national press association awards.
In 1961, Angers co-founded with future Lafayette Mayor Kenny Bowen the public relations firm of Angers, Bowen and Associates in Lafayette. Angers sold his interest to Bowen in 1962. Bowen ran for mayor unsuccessfully as a Republican, but he was victorious after he changed his registration to Democrat. From 1966 to 1968, Angers was an editorial writer and columnist of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser. He founded the Jeanerette Weekly Journal (1964–1965), Southwest Louisiana Capitalist (1963), and Acadiana Profile magazine (1968), which covers twenty-two South Louisiana parishes and is the longest-running still active magazine in Louisiana history.
Assisted by his wife, Angers edited and published Acadiana Profile from 1968 to 1985, when his son, Trent, took over the management. From 1967 to 1968, Angers was also editor of Latin American Report magazine in New Orleans. He founded the Acadian News Agency, which syndicated his public affairs editorials to Louisiana newspapers. In 1970, Trent Angers acquired the news agency.
Congressional campaign, 1964
Angers was a Democrat until 1960, when he joined the Republican Party. In 1964, he supported Charlton Lyons for governor of Louisiana. In July 1964, Angers was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, California, at which he supported U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater for U.S. President. He lashed out at the then all Democratic congressional delegation from Louisiana, calling the members "so-called southern conservatives who are really liberals ... that vote with Lyndon Johnson on nearly all major bills."
Angers himself ran as the GOP candidate for the Lafayette-based 3rd congressional district seat against the 16-year incumbent, Democrat Edwin Edward Willis (1904-1972) of St. Martinville. Angers received 31,806 votes (37.7 percent) to Willis's 52,532 (62.3 percent) and lost every parish in the district. In Lafayette Parish, Angers procured 49.6 percent of the vote and outpolled Goldwater there by 3.5 percentage points. Three other Republicans ran unsuccessfully for U.S. House seats from Louisiana that year: future Governor David C. Treen in the New Orleans suburbs, Floyd O. Crawford (1907–1995) of Baton Rouge, and William Stewart Walker of Winnfield, who opposed the conservative Democrat Speedy Long in the since defunct 8th congressional district. Angers was a Louisiana delegate to the 1968 Republican National Convention, which nominated the Nixon-Agnew ticket. In 1974, however, Angers left the GOP and re-registered as an Independent.
Angers was a member of the St. Pius Roman Catholic Church of Lafayette. He was also affiliated with a plethora of organizations, including the journalism society, Sigma Delta Chi, the New Iberia Port Commission, Kiwanis International, and the Rotary Club, which endowed a Paul P. Harris Fellowship in his name. He was the founding secretary of the Louisiana Intracoastal Seaway Association, and a charter member of the Caribbean-American Freedom League, which worked with Cuban exile groups in unsuccessful efforts to overthrow the communist government of Fidel Castro. Angers was a director of the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival and the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana. He was a former president of the Louisiana Press Association, the Franklin Chamber of Commerce (1953), and the Louisiana Jaycees (1949).
He founded and served as the first president of the International Relations Association of Acadiana and the International Good Neighbor Council. He founded these organizations to promote trade, tourism and goodwill in French and Spanish-speaking countries.
Angers received the George Washington Honor Medal from Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Prior to his death, he was awarded the Lafayette Board of Realtors "Good News Award". He was also cited by the Louisiana Farm Bureau for its "Special Press Award" for his lifetime endeavors of promoting and writing about agriculture.
On August 31, 1941, Angers married the former Geraldine Isabelle Beaulieu (1921-2019) of Jeanerette in Iberia Parish, the daughter of Gerald A. Beaulieu, Sr., and the former Laurice Hebert.
Robert and Geraldine had seven sons and a daughter: Robert Gerald, Judith Ann, Trent Michael, Stephen Brion, Winston Thomas, John Matthew, Glen Williams, and Jefferson Mark. Another son died at birth.
Angers died at the age of sixty-nine at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. His passing came three months after the death of his mother. He is interred at Lafayette Memorial Park.
- Maj. Robert J. Angers, Jr.. Ancestry.com. Retrieved on October 10, 2019.
- Robert John Angers, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, (Lafayette: Louisiana Historical Association, 1999), pp. 4-5.
- Acadiana Profile: The Magazine of the Cajun Country. acadianaprofilemagazine. Retrieved on January 28, 2009.
- "Business Editor Bob Angers dies," Lafayette Daily Advertiser, October 14, 1988, p. 17.
- Shreveport Journal, July 16, 1964, p. 1.
- Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 3, 1964.
- Geraldine Isabelle Beaulieu Angers. Ancestry.com. Retrieved on October 10, 2019.