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Joseph A. Delpit was born on January 9, 1940 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is the son of Edmae Butler and the late Thomas H. Delpit. He is married to the former Precious Robinson and has five children: Joseph Jr., Thomas, Deidre, Desiree, and Derrick. He also has eleven grandchildren.
He attended elementary school at St. Francis Xavier and graduated from McKinley Senior High School. He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge where he received credits in business administration and foods and nutrition. He also received certificates for participation in numerous business and community development seminars around the nation.
Since 1959, Mr. Delpit has owned and operated the Chicken Shack, a restaurant started by his father in 1935, with only thirty-four cents capital. He, along with his wife, Precious, has expanded and added many new locations. Mr. Delpit is now president of Chicken Shack Systems, Inc., a fast growing food chain. He is President of D & W Health Services, Inc., a nursing home doing business as The Oaks of Mid City. Mr. Delpit is also Secretary-Treasurer and C.F.O. of W.T.B., Inc., a corporation that is operating a new 80-bed nursing home facility in Shreveport, LA and Booker T. Washington Nursing Center.
Mr. Delpit’s memberships include: St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church Finance Board; member of the Baranco-Clark YMCA, Board of Management; a life member and former President of the Baton Rouge Chapter of the NAACP; former member of the Board of Directors of the Capital City Kids Baseball Clinic and former President; City-Parish Bi-Racial Committee; Mental Health Society Board of Management; and Capitol Region Planning Commission. He is a charter and life member of McKinley High School Alumni Association, Inc. and the Project Management Chairman for the restoration of the Old McKinley Building Project.
Honors received include: Honorary member of the James M. Frazier Honor Society; Honorary member of the Board of Directors of the Baton Rouge Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation; Outstanding Services in Southern University’s Alumni Federation and Southern University’s Center for Business and Economic Development: Business Man of the Year, 1973; listed in Outstanding Young Men of America; Louisiana Education Association Award in recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of political and social action; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Award in recognition of outstanding leadership in business and civic community services; NAACP National Freedom Award for outstanding contributions to the cause of civil rights; McKinley High Alumni Award in recognition of outstanding school and community service; the office of Economic Opportunity Sergeant Shriver Award for dedicated service to the problems of the poor in America; Baton Rouge Business Man of the Year Award presented by the News Leader and Outstanding Service Award from the Baranco-Clark Branch, YMCA.
He is the first Black councilman to serve the City of Baton Rouge. He also served briefly as Mayor Pro Tempore. He was re-elected to a second term on the council with a first primary victory. While on the Council, he was elected chairman of the Executive Committee, and was appointed by the Governor to the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission. He was appointed by Governor Kathleen Blanco to serve again on the Port Commission in 2004.
In November 1975, he was elected State Representative of District 67 in the first primary and served on the Municipal and Parochial Affairs Committee, the Agriculture Committee and the Appropriations Committee. In April, 1980, Representative Delpit was sworn in for a second term as the Representative from District 67, East Baton Rouge Parish, after a first primary victory in the October, 1979 Primary Election. In 1983, Representative Delpit was unopposed for an unprecedented third term as the State Representative for District 67. On March 12, 1984, he was elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives, making him the highest-ranking Black elected official in the state of Louisiana since Reconstruction and the first Black to hold this office. Mr. Delpit was re-elected to his fourth term as the Representative of District 67 in 1987. Also notable, Mr. Delpit served as Master of Ceremonies at the 1972, 1976, and the 1984 Inaugurations of Governor Edwin W. Edwards.
Representative Delpit was a member of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus and has served on the following Legislative Committees: House Appropriations, Labor and Industrial Relations Education, House Arts Advisory, and House Legislative Services Council. He was chairman of the Municipal and Parochial Affairs Committee which has jurisdiction over the affairs of New Orleans and other municipalities.
In January of 1992, Mr. Delpit retired from the State Legislature in order that he could devote more time to his business ventures. He now takes great pride in working in the businesses with his children and grandchildren and training them for future proprietorship; however, he is still actively engaged in state and local related activities and organizations.
SUBMITTED BY: Joseph A. Delpit
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This page was last updated on Friday, 18-Nov-2011 11:43:45 CST.