THE ICON: Joseph Merrick Jones
THE LEGACY: World War II was raging and, like so many others, Joseph Merrick Jones wanted to do his part. Too old to enlist in the armed services, the New Orleans lawyer found another way to contribute, joining the State Department as assistant secretary for public affairs. It was just one more in a number of ways Jones found to give back in a life that saw him become a prominent member, and leader, of a litany of civic, social, professional and philanthropic groups in New Orleans. In addition to reigning as Rex in 1958, he was for more than a decade president of the Tulane University board of administrators. Jones’ most conspicuous legacy, however, is the Jones Walker law firm, which he helped found in 1937 and which remains one of the largest and most respected law firms in the South.
THE ARTIST: Michael McManus
THE INSPIRATION: “Joe Jones’ death takes from the community one of its most valuable and outstanding citizens. He leaves a void in the business, economic and education life of New Orleans which cannot be easily filled.” — U.S. Rep. F. Edward Hebert of New Orleans, on the 1963 death of Joseph Merrick Jones