Copyright 2007-2009.
All Rights Reserved.


John Julian McKeithen
53rd & 54th
Governor of Louisiana

Preceded by James H. Davis
Governor by Elections
Served from May 12, 1964
Served to May 9, 1972
Left Office by Terms Ended
Succeeded by Edwin W. Edwards
Military Rank
Lieutenant - U. S. Army
1942 - 1946
Born May 28, 1918
Grayson, Louisiana
Died June 4, 1999
Columbia, Louisiana
Age 81
Party Democratic
Education Louisiana State University
Profession Lawyer
Spouse Marjorie Howell Funderburk
Children 6
Plantation Hogan
Religion Methodist
Burial Hogan Plantation Cemetery


1964 - 1968
1968 - 1972

John Julian McKeithen, the 53rd and 54th Governor of Louisiana, died in 1999.  He is interred at Hogan Plantation Cemetery near Columbia.

Governor McKeithen was the first Louisiana governor in the twentieth century to succeed himself in office.  His popularity was such that the legislature placed a constitutional amendment on the ballot which the voters overwhelmingly approved, thereby allowing the governor to run for a second term.  He was reelected without opposition from the Republican Party.

In 1942, John J. McKeithen earned a law degree from LSU, married Marjorie Howell Funderburk, and enlisted in the U. S. Army.  These three pivotal events framed his life.

As a 1st Lieutenant in the 77th Infantry Division, McKeithen served in the Pacific Theater at Guam, Okinawa and other battlegrounds, receiving two bronze stars. 

Upon completion of his duty, he returned to Caldwell Parish and opened a law practice in Columbia.  His political career began in 1948 with election to the Louisiana House of Representatives.  He then was elected Public Service Commissioner in 1954 and served until 1964.

He was elected Governor of Louisiana in 1964 with nearly 61% of the vote in the general election.  The state's industries prospered through his tireless efforts, a 'code of ethics' for public officials became law, reform of the state correctional system was implemented, an insurance program for state employees was begun and appointments of two men to judgeships in New Orleans helped heal some racial divides. 

The governors efforts to begin healing the racial divide in Louisiana helped the state avoid many of the extreme incidents that occurred in some other southern states.

In 1968, Governor McKeithen became the first governor in the twentieth century to succeed himself.  He received almost 81% of the vote in the Democratic primary.  The Republicans chose not to field a candidate in the general election against the highly popular Democratic governor.

His second term was tainted by unproven allegations of Mafia influence in state affairs.

Leaving office in 1972 at the end of his two terms, he continued his law practice in Columbia and in Baton Rouge and managed his oil and gas exploration company and his farm on Hogan Plantation outside of Columbia.

Governor McKeithen guided the "Superdome"  through the legislature with a Constitutional Amendment which the voters of Louisiana approved on November 8, 1966.  Construction began in 1971 and was completed almost exactly four years later in 1975. 

Hogan Cemetery



To the left of the obelisk is the burial site of
Walter Fox McKeithen.
His monument is not yet on site.

The obelisk is that of Governor McKeithen.

The middle monument is that of Marjorie Howell Funderburk McKeithen.

The headstone to the right is that of Jessie Jay McKeithen.


John Julian McKeithen
May 28, 1918
June 4, 1999

1948 - 1952

Public Service
1954 - 1961

1964 - 1972



John Julian

1918 - 1999

U. S. Army
77th Infantry Div.
1st Lieutenant

Enlisted   1942
Honorable Dis.   1946

World War II

Pacific Theater
Combat Veteran
in Campaigns of
Guam, Leyte,
Okinawa, & IF Shima

Two Bronze Stars  


John Julian

"I wasn't born to material wealth, nor do I have
claim to an aristocratic name.  But if I am elected
governor, it will prove that any mother's son can
aspire to the highest political office of this state.
I've come this far because you the people have
given me your support - with all the professional
politicians, power brokers and big money people
fighting me every step of the way.  Because I owe
you so much, you can be assured when I raise my
hand to take the oath of office as Governor of
Louisiana, there will be a prayer in my heart that
God will always guide me to do what is best for the
state and all the people in it.  We'll win this race,
but I need your help.  Won't you help me?"

McKeithen on the Campaign Trail in 1964

John Julian

husband of
Marjorie Howell

June 14, 1942


Jesse Jay
Walter Fox
Rebecca Ann
Melissa Sue
Pamela Claire
Jenneva Maude








Marjorie Howell Funderburk McKeithen

Born     August 30, 1919
Died       March 24, 2004

Identical Twin:   Margaret Howell Funderburk

Wife of John Julian McKeithen     Married June 14, 1942

Salutatorian Winnsboro High School
Selected "Most Beautiful"
Charter Member    Sigma Kappa Sorority     Louisiana
Tech University     Bachelor of Science Degree   Cum Laude
Teacher of Math and Chemistry   Jena High School and
Ward Five School in Caldwell Parish
First Lady of Louisiana 1964 - 1972
Beloved Mother of Jay, Fox, Rebecca, Melissa
Pamela, and Jenny
Cherished Grandmother

An Excellent Wife And Mother.  Her Worth Is Far
Above Jewels.  The Heart of Her Husband Trusts In
Her And He Will Have No Lack Of Gain.  She Does Him
Good And Not Evil All The Days Of Her Life.  She
Works With Her Hands In Delight.  Strength And
Dignity Are Her Clothing.  She Looks Well To The
Ways of Her Household,  And Does Not Eat The
Bread Of Idleness.  Her Children Rise Up And Call
Her Blessed.  Charm Is Deceitful And Beauty Is Vain,
But A Woman Who Fears The Lord., She Shall Be
Praised.  Give Her The Product Of Her Hands And
Let Her Works Praise Her In The Gates.
    Proverbs 31

Jesse Jay

December 5, 1943     April 11, 1998

Oldest Son Of
Governor and Mrs. John J. McKeithen



Walter Fox

September 8, 1946     July 16, 2005

Secretary of State of Louisiana
1988 - 2005



La. Secretary of State
National Governors Association


McKeithen Upsets  Morrison in Demo Runoff 1-12-1964
McKeithen Eases Racial Tensions 3-29-1965
McKeithen in Landslide Victory for Second Term 11-5-1867
McKeithen Says Rackets Taking Over Unions 2-13-1968
McKeithen Addresses Negro Newspaper Association 6-22-1968
McKeithen Wants on Ballet to Replace Deceased Senator Ellender 8-3-1972
Obit - John Julian McKeithen 5-6-1999
Obit - Marjorie Howell Funderburk McKeithen 3-26-2004


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