Francis Grevemberg
Francis Carroll Grevemberg (June 4, 1914 - November 24, 2008), was the superintendent of the Louisiana State Police
Louisiana State Police
The Louisiana State Police is the state police department of Louisiana, which has jurisdiction anywhere in the state, headquartered in Baton Rouge. It was created to protect the lives, property and constitutional rights of people in Louisiana. It falls under the authority of the Louisiana...

 from 1952 to 1955, best remembered for his fight against organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...


Grevemberg was born in Biloxi
Biloxi, Mississippi
Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

 in Harrison County
Harrison County, Mississippi
-National protected areas:* De Soto National Forest * Gulf Islands National Seashore - Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there were 189,601 people, 71,538 households, and 48,574 families residing in the county. The population density was 326 people per square mile . There were 79,636 housing...

, Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, to Francis Bartholomew "Frank" Grevemberg and the former Onita Coulon Jumonville deVilliers, members of two prominent families in South Louisiana. He twice ran for governor of Louisiana, as a Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 in the 1955 party primary
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 and as the Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 nominee in the general election held on April 19, 1960.

Military record

A decorated United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 officer in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Grevemberg served twenty-eight months in the European Theater of operations. He made five amphibious landings and participated in nine combat campaigns. He went overseas as a captain commanding an anti-aircraft artillery battery in the 1st Infantry Division. He received a combat promotion from General George S. Patton, Jr., to the rank of major in Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, and five months later, at the age of twenty-nine, during the beachhead campaign in Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, he received a second combat promotion, to the rank of lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

, from General Omar N. Bradley.

In 1951, Grevemberg was promoted for a third time, to the rank of colonel, and became the group commander of the 204th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group of the Louisiana Army National Guard
Louisiana Army National Guard
The Louisiana Army National Guard is a component of the United States Army and the United States National Guard. The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions. In fact, the National Guard is the only United States military force...

. He returned to active duty during the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 crisis in 1961. His previous command was changed to the 204th Transportation (Truck) Battalion of the state National Guard, which was temporarily stationed at Fort Eustis, Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...


During his military service, Grevemberg received the Soldier's Medal for Heroism
Soldier's Medal
The Soldier's Medal is a military award of the United States Army. It was introduced as Section 11 of the Air Corps Act, passed by the Congress of the United States on July 2, 1926...

, the Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements...

 for outstanding performance during the invasion at Anzio, the Croix de Guerre
Croix de guerre
The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...

 with silver gilt star awarded by the French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 government for exceptional war services rendered in the liberation of France, the Army Commendation Medal
Commendation Medal
The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military decoration which is presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy force, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star, the Valor device may...

, the Italian Military Valor Cross, the European-African Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

ern Medal with nine bronze campaign stars, and a bronze arrowhead signifying participation in five amphibious landings against the Axis powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...


Louisiana State Police superintendent

Grevemberg was appointed in May 1952 to head the state police, based in the capital city, Baton Rouge, by newly elected Governor Robert F. Kennon
Robert F. Kennon
Robert Floyd Kennon, Sr., known as Bob Kennon , was the 48th Governor of Louisiana, serving from 1952-1956. He failed to win a second non-consecutive term in the 1963 Democratic primary....

. Grevemberg's autobiography, My Wars: Nazis, Mobsters, Gambling and Corruption, tells about his experiences with the Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

, which he said tried to kill him and bribe him and to kidnap his sons. The mob sent him a Mafia black hand
Black Hand
Unification or Death , unofficially known as the Black Hand , was a secret military society formed by members of the Serbian army in the Kingdom of Serbia, which was founded on September 6, 1901. It was intent on uniting all of the territories containing significant Serb populations annexed by...

 death-threat letter. Illegal gambling had existed in Louisiana for a century, and the mob began operating there during the administration of popular Governor Huey Pierce Long, Jr. (1928–1932), when New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 mobster Frank Costello
Frank Costello
Frank Costello was an Italian New York City gangster who rose to the top of America's underworld, controlled a vast gambling empire across the United States and enjoyed political influence.Nicknamed the "Prime Minister of the Underworld", he became one of the most powerful and influential Mafia...

 brought slot machines into the state. Grevemberg's book chronicles his fight against gambling and vice. Slot machines and casino devices, illegal in Louisiana at the time, were operated by the Mafia and other criminal elements.

Grevemberg defied the opposition and conducted more than one thousand lightning raids that shut down much of the illegal gambling. Most of the gamblers then moved to Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

. He destroyed 8,229 slot machine
Slot machine
A slot machine , informally fruit machine , the slots , poker machine or "pokies" or simply slot is a casino gambling machine with three or more reels which spin when a button is pushed...

s. Grevemberg vastly reduced the amount of narcotics sold on Louisiana streets, dismantled an eight-state white slavery
Sexual slavery
Sexual slavery is when unwilling people are coerced into slavery for sexual exploitation. The incidence of sexual slavery by country has been studied and tabulated by UNESCO, with the cooperation of various international agencies...

 ring, and modernized the Louisiana state police into a premier law-enforcement agency.

Grevemberg said that he could not have carried on under constant threats from the mob without the inspiration of his wife, the former Dorothy Maguire (September 1, 1917–December 9, 2010), a New Orleans native whom he called "the love of my life." The couple had identical twin sons born in 1949 – Francis J. "Pete" Grevemberg, married to the former Melissa Coleman, of Conyers
Conyers, Georgia
Conyers is the only city in Rockdale County, Georgia, USA. It is twenty-four miles east of Atlanta. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 10,689. Census estimates of 2005 indicate a population of 12,205. The city is the county seat of Rockdale County. By 2009, the reported population was...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, and Carroll S. Grevemberg, wed to the former Alice Henderson of New Orleans – two grandchildren, David Grevemberg of Bonn, Germany, later Killearn, Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, and Elisa Grevemberg of Reims, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and two great-grandchildren. In his fight against the lawless elements, Grevemberg was aided by journalists such as Jim McLean of the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

, as well as pastors and citizens from the Louisiana Moral and Civic Foundation, who gave Grevemberg the will to persevere.

Democratic U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver
Estes Kefauver
Carey Estes Kefauver July 26, 1903 – August 10, 1963) was an American politician from Tennessee. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the U.S...

 of Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, chairman of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the Influence of Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, credited Grevemberg with transforming Louisiana from being one of the most corrupt states to one of the cleanest during the 1950s. Gambling spots across South Louisiana were closed en masse, and the raids on illegal liquor sales even touched Kennon's hometown of Minden
Minden, Louisiana
Minden is a city in the American state of Louisiana. It serves as the parish seat of Webster Parish and is located twenty-eight miles east of Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish. The population, which has been stable since 1960, was 13,027 at the 2000 census...

, the seat of Webster Parish in northwetern Louisiana. On a Saturday in November 1954, the day of the traditional Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, most often referred to as Louisiana State University, or LSU, is a public coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The University was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name...

 v. University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas is a public, co-educational, land-grant, space-grant, research university. It is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with very high research activity. It is the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System and is located in...

 at Fayetteville
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Fayetteville is the county seat of Washington County, and the third largest city in Arkansas. The city is centrally located within the county and is home to the University of Arkansas. Fayetteville is also deep in the Boston Mountains, a subset of The Ozarks...

 football game in Shreveport, a state police raid in Minden resulted in the arrest of several local residents on charges of bootlegging
Rum-running, also known as bootlegging, is the illegal business of transporting alcoholic beverages where such transportation is forbidden by law...

, including the then-Democratic mayor, John T. David
John T. David
John Thomas David, Sr. was the Democratic mayor of the small city of Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, from 1946-1955...

. David had to step down as mayor, but voters quickly elected him to the Webster Parish Police Jury, the parish governing council.

When state officials first considered legalizing gambling, Grevemberg said:
I think that if they want gambling, it must be legal. However, legal or illegal gambling corrupts public officials, especially police. It's a breeding ground for other kinds of vice
Vice is a practice or a behavior or habit considered immoral, depraved, or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a defect, an infirmity, or merely a bad habit. Synonyms for vice include fault, depravity, sin, iniquity, wickedness, and corruption...

. I think it would hurt our state immeasurably. The state has gone down the drain for the umpteenth time in my lifetime. I just think it's pathetic!"

Grevemberg's crusade was the subject of a 1958 film by Universal Studios
Universal Studios
Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

 titled Damn Citizen. Keith Andes
Keith Andes
Keith Andes was an American film, radio, musical theatre, stage and television actor.-Early life:John Charles Andes was born in Ocean City, New Jersey on July 12, 1920. By the age of 12, he was featured on the radio....

 (1920–2005) played the role of Grevemberg, and Margaret Hayes
Margaret Hayes
Margaret Hayes was an American film and television actress.Born December 5, 1916 Florette Regina Ottenheimer in Baltimore, Maryland, she was often billed as Maggie Hayes in her film credits. She is perhaps best known for her role as Lois Judby Hammond in the film Blackboard Jungle...

 (1916–1977) played Dorothy. Gene Evans
Gene Evans
Gene Evans was an American actor.He was born in Holbrook, Arizona, but reared in Colton, California. His acting career began while he was serving in World War II. He performed with a theatrical troupe of GIs in Europe. Evans made his film debut in 1947 and appeared in dozens of movies and...

 (1922–1998) played incorruptible police Major Al Arthur. Evans is best remembered as the father, Rob McLaughlin, on My Friend Flicka
My Friend Flicka
My Friend Flicka is a 1941 novel by Mary O'Hara, about Ken McLaughlin, the son of a Wyoming rancher, and his horse Flicka. It was the first in a trilogy, followed by Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming . The popular 1943 film version featured a young Roddy McDowall...

, a western
Western (genre)
The Western is a genre of various visual arts, such as film, television, radio, literature, painting and others. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Some Westerns are set as early as the Battle of...

 television series, and for numerous guest spots on other westerns, such as CBS's Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West....

. Thereafter in the 1959-1960 television season, Andes starred in a short-lived syndicated
Television syndication
In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very...

 crime drama, This Man Dawson
This Man Dawson
This Man Dawson is a syndicated drama television series starring Keith Andes as a former United States Marine Corps colonel hired to clean up police corruption in an undisclosed American city. The thirty-three episodes, in which Andes portrayed Chief Frank Dawson, aired during the 1959-1960...

, loosely based on a crime-fighting police chief in a fictitious American city.

Democratic gubernatorial campaign, 1956

In 1955, Grevemberg left the state police position to seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination to succeed Governor Kennon. He ran a poor fourth in the race, with 62,309 votes (7.6 percent). Mayor deLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison Sr., of New Orleans polled 191,576 (23.4 percent). The winner in the first round was Huey Long
Huey Long
Huey Pierce Long, Jr. , nicknamed The Kingfish, served as the 40th Governor of Louisiana from 1928–1932 and as a U.S. Senator from 1932 to 1935. A Democrat, he was noted for his radical populist policies. Though a backer of Franklin D...

's younger brother, Earl Kemp Long, with 421,681 (51.4 percent). Two other contenders, Fred Preaus
Fred Preaus
Frederick T. Preaus, known as Fred Preaus , was a businessman and politician in the U.S. state of Louisiana, a native of Farmerville, the seat of Union Parish near the Arkansas state line...

 of Farmerville
Farmerville, Louisiana
Farmerville is a town in and the parish seat of Union Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 3,808 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 and James M. McLemore of Alexandria
Alexandria, Louisiana
Alexandria is a city in and the parish seat of Rapides Parish, Louisiana, United States. It lies on the south bank of the Red River in almost the exact geographic center of the state. It is the principal city of the Alexandria metropolitan area which encompasses all of Rapides and Grant parishes....

, divided the remaining 18 percent of the vote. Earl Long was then unopposed in the general election held in the spring of 1956. Never did Huey or Earl Long face a Republican candidate for any office.

Questions arouse in the campaign about Grevemberg's purchase of the Mirimar Hotel on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Mississippi Gulf Coast
The Mississippi Gulf Coast refers to the three Mississippi counties which lie on the Gulf of Mexico: Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.The region was severely damaged by Hurricane Camille in 1969 and again by Hurricane Katrina in 2005....

, an establishment which sold liquor and operated slot machines. Grevemberg, who himself denied drinking or gambling, said that he should not have bought into the business and sold his interest in the hotel at a loss of $10,000.

Grevemberg had a lieutenant governor
Lieutenant governor
A lieutenant governor or lieutenant-governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction, but is often the deputy or lieutenant to or ranking under a governor — a "second-in-command"...

 candidate on his statewide slate, Democrat Wesley H. Clanton (1906–1986) of Eunice
Eunice, Louisiana
Eunice is a city in Acadia, Evangeline and St. Landry parishes in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The population was 11,499 at the 2000 census.The St...

 in St. Landry Parish
St. Landry Parish, Louisiana
St. Landry Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is at the heart of Acadian/Cajun culture and heritage in Louisiana. The parish seat is Opelousas. According to the 2010 census, the population of St. Landry Parish is 83,384.St...


Republican gubernatorial campaign, 1960

In 1959-1960, Grevemberg rejected cries of "It can't be done" and switched parties to run for governor as a Republican. He challenged former Governor Jimmie Davis
Jimmie Davis
James Houston Davis , better known as Jimmie Davis, was a noted singer of both sacred and popular songs who served two nonconsecutive terms as the 47th Governor of Louisiana...

, winner of a hard-fought Democratic primary and runoff. Grevemberg called for abolition of useless positions in state government and industrial recruitment efforts. Among his supporters were Charles deGravelles
Charles deGravelles
Charles Camille deGravelles, Jr., known as Charlie deGravelles , was a Lafayette oil and gas landman who was a pioneer in the development of the Republican Party in the formerly historically Democratic state of Louisiana. Known as the “Mr...

 and wife, Virginia deGravelles
Virginia deGravelles
Mary Virginia Wheadon deGravelles is a retiree from Lafayette who was the Louisiana Republican national committeewoman from 1964–1968, a position which constitutes automatic membership on the Republican National Committee. Her husband, Charles Camille deGravelles, Jr...

 of Lafayette
Lafayette, Louisiana
Lafayette is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States, on the Vermilion River. The population was 120,623 at the 2010 census...

, two future leaders in the fledgling Louisiana Republican Party.

His candidacy offered the state something that it had not seen since the 19th century, an actually contested general election for governor."Never before have the voters in this state been given such an opportunity for self-expression," opined the Alexandria Daily Town Talk
The Town Talk (Alexandria)
The Town Talk, started as The Daily Town Talk in 1883 and later named the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, is the major newspaper of Central Louisiana. It is published by Gannett in Alexandria, the seat of Rapides Parish and the economic center of Central Louisiana.The daily newspaper has a circulation...

 on Grevemberg's candidacy. "It is a rare opportunity for us to take part in an advanced course in government and politics." The Town Talks managing editor, Adras LaBorde
Adras LaBorde
Adras Paul LaBorde, I , was a reporter, managing editor, and columnist for the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, the largest newspaper in central Louisiana. His career stretched from the mid-1940s into the early 1990s...

, gave more attention to the Davis-Grevemberg than did most of the other Louisiana newspapers.

Democrats were sufficiently confident of overwhelming victories to restrict their general election activities to a few party-harmony speeches. Davis had stopped campaigning after he defeated Morrison and did not return to active campaign status until a few weeks prior to the general election. National Republicans had promised financial help to Grevemberg, but none arrived.

Grevemberg polled only 86,135 votes (17 percent). Davis received 407,907 (81.5 percent). Grevemberg scored his highest percent, 39.9 in Terrebonne Parish
Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana
Terrebonne Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Houma. Its population was 111,860...

, and his second-best showing was the 27.2 percent in Lafayette Parish. In several parishes, including Kennon's Webster Parish, Grevemberg polled less than 2 percent of the ballots.

Grevemberg was outraged at newspaper editorials against him. "My main purpose for entering this race was toward a two-party system.... I hope I have convinced a sizable number of people we do need two parties." Grevemberg was particularly hostile toward the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which called him a "turncoat" after he left the Democratic Party, adding: "I risked my life and those of my family in attempts to rid this state of racketeers.... These newspapers have lived up to the reputation given them by Huey Long that they were yellow journals."

The GOP was still four years away from offering voters a more competitive choice in a Louisiana gubernatorial general election. At the close of the campaign, Grevemberg called upon President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 to investigate Mafia figure Carlos Marcello
Carlos Marcello
Carlos "The Little Man" Marcello was a Sicilian-American mafioso who became the boss of the New Orleans crime family during the 1940s and held this position for the next 30 years.-Early life:...

 of Gretna
Gretna, Louisiana
The city of Gretna is the parish seat of Jefferson Parish, in the US state of Louisiana. Gretna is on the west bank of the Mississippi River, just east and across the river from uptown New Orleans. It is part of the New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, the seat of Jefferson Parish, in light of failed efforts to have Marcello deported. Grevemberg said that he harbored no ill will toward Davis but was merely trying to plant the seeds of a two-party system in Louisiana.

As a delegate to the 1960 Republican National Convention
Republican National Convention
The Republican National Convention is the presidential nominating convention of the Republican Party of the United States. Convened by the Republican National Committee, the stated purpose of the convocation is to nominate an official candidate in an upcoming U.S...

 in Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Grevemberg was among ten delegates who still cast their votes for U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, after Goldwater had lectured conservatives "to grow up" and support Richard M. Nixon for the party's nomination against U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 of Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...


Grevemberg a phony, according to Dodd

William J. "Bill" Dodd, a veteran Louisiana officeholder and an observer of the state political scene, had no use for Grevemberg. In his Peapatch Politics, Dodd, without using Grevemberg's name, charged that the former state police superintendent undertook his crusade against gambling to secure maximum political exposure as a reformer running for governor.

Dodd wrote:
... do-gooders, crime commission buffs, and many Protestant preachers joined up with and supported this faker who was acting as a reformer. The biggest drunkard, whoremonger, gambler, and wife-beater can put on a uniform and begin cussing crime by day, while he slips around and commits it by night, and many gullible church people will carry his banner. So it was with that policeman-turned-politician. My own Protestant [ Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 ] minister preached sermons bragging on him. He told me that he couldn't vote for several of my favorite candidates because they were Roman Catholics, but he was 100 percent for the policeman [Grevemberg], who was a Catholic. He was for him, he said, because he was against crime.

Controversy over how Huey Long died

Grevemberg's memoirs, My Wars: Nazis, Mobsters, Gambling & Corruption - Col. Francis C. Grevemberg Remembers describes a ride into north Louisiana, in which state troopers told of the shooting of Huey Long in 1935. They said that Dr. Carl Weiss
Carl Weiss
Carl Austin Weiss was a young Baton Rouge, Louisiana physician who assassinated U.S. Senator Huey Pierce Long, Jr. on September 8, 1935.-Baton Rouge doctor:...

 (1906–1935) was not armed and that Long was in fact shot to death by his own bodyguards. Grevemberg related how the shooting of Long came up during a conversation among four troopers accompanying Grevemberg on a casino raid. Grevemberg said that the troopers told how Weiss' gun had been taken from his car after the shooting. "It appears... that all of the actions following the shooting were a conspiracy to cover up the accidental death of Senator Long and the killing of Dr. Weiss," said Grevemberg. The troopers told Grevemberg that what started out as a fist to Long's lip by Dr. Weiss triggered an accidental shooting that ended in a hail of gunfire. This claim was also repeated in a 1990s segment of the NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 series Unsolved Mysteries
Unsolved Mysteries
Unsolved Mysteries is an American television program, hosted by Robert Stack, from 1987 until 2002, and later by Dennis Farina, starting in 2008...

. The claim has been rejected by scholars; the troopers were repeating a story that was invented after the fact by anti-Long politicians and spread widely.

Sustained opposition to gambling

During the third term of Louisiana Governor Edwin W. Edwards a state-run lottery and legalized casinos were proposed in the Louisiana Legislature and later generally adopted. Grevemberg opposed these measures, expressing his concern in a number of venues including a 1990 article in the Louisiana Trooper magazine. At the time the discussion of gambling was particularly poignant in Louisiana as the state constitution of 1974 (adopted during Edwards' first term) included a phrase that the Legislature "shall define and suppress gambling." The Legislature, and subsequently the courts, took the view that the emphasis was on the verb "define" instead of the noun "gambling" such that all "gambling" continues to be illegal in Louisiana whereas ostensibly similar activities can be legalized as gaming.

Business activities and honors

In 1960, Grevemberg opened a real estate company and was elected president of the Baton Rouge Board of Realtors. In 1961, he received the "Realtor of the Year" designation. After returning again from military active duty in West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 in August 1962, he started United Guaranty Residential Insurance Company, which specialized in the sale of private mortgage insurance
Mortgage insurance
Mortgage insurance is an insurance policy which compensates lenders or investors for losses due to the default of a mortgage loan. Mortgage insurance can be either public or private depending upon the insurer...


Grevemberg received the Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry was an orator and politician who led the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia from 1776 to 1779 and subsequently, from 1784 to 1786...

 Award for outstanding patriotism from the national headquarters of the Military Order of the World Wars and both the Gold and Silver Good Citizenship Medals from the Sons of the American Revolution
Sons of the American Revolution
The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is a Louisville, Kentucky-based fraternal organization in the United States...

. He was a member of American Legion
American Legion
The American Legion is a mutual-aid organization of veterans of the United States armed forces chartered by the United States Congress. It was founded to benefit those veterans who served during a wartime period as defined by Congress...

 and the New Orleans chapter of the Military Order of The World Wars.

In 2002, Grevemberg was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame
Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame
The Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield, Louisiana, highlights the careers of more than a hundred of the state’s leading politicians and political journalists. Because three governors, Huey P. Long, Jr., Oscar K...

. in Winnfield
Winnfield, Louisiana
Winnfield is a city in and the parish seat of Winn Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,749 at the 2000 census. It has long been associated with the Long faction of the Louisiana Democratic Party and was home to three governors of Louisiana.-Geography:Winnfield is located at ...


Until Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, the Grevembergs had resided in New Orleans. Francis Grevemberg died at the age of ninety-four of acute respiratory problems
Respiratory disease
Respiratory disease is a medical term that encompasses pathological conditions affecting the organs and tissues that make gas exchange possible in higher organisms, and includes conditions of the upper respiratory tract, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli, pleura and pleural cavity, and the...

 stemming from surgery for a broken hip. After her husband's death, Dorothy Grevemberg entered the Morningside Assisted Care facility in Conyers, Georgia, where she died in 2010 at the age of ninety-three. Their funeral services were private. The Grevemberg remains were placed in an urn in the family tomb in St. Martinville in St. Martin Parish.
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