Camille Gravel

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Camille Francis Gravel, Jr. (August 10, 1915—December 23, 2005), was a Louisiana, Democratic politician.

Gravel spent much time and money supporting the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Pius XII honored Gravel with the "Order of St. Gregory" for his outstanding service to the church.


Gravel graduated in 1935 from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He attended law school at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from 1937–1939, but once explained that he just could not stick to the books. At a time when a law degree was not required to become a lawyer, Gravel "read for the law" and passed the bar exam in 1940.

Gravel introduced Louis Berry, the first African American lawyer to have been admitted to the Alexandria Bar Association. Berry said that no other white lawyer in Alexandria would introduce him.

The 1948 Democratic Convention

Gravel was an early civil rights activist who was derided by Louisiana segregationist Democrats in the 1950s as an "integrationist." He attracted national attention when he led the loyal Louisiana Democratic delegation to the 1948 national convention in Philadelphia, when delegates from Mississippi and Alabama walked out in protest of a civil rights plank in the party platform supported by the party nominee President Harry S. Truman.

Oddly, Gravel in the fall of 1948 was the elector for the Eighth......
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