A. J. LeBlanc *
Inducted on June 04, 2011
Antoine “A. J.” LeBlanc was born on November 18, 1929 in Lafayette. LeBlanc served for four years on the Lafayette Parish Police Jury. LeBlanc, founder of Monde des Cadiens (Cajun World), has truly earned the title of Lousiana’s Ambassadeur to the French-speaking world. He has been in the forefront of the effort in central Acadiana to promote the rich touristic attractions of the area to visitors from throughout the world. LeBlanc’s hard work for many years in developing cultural attractions makes a visit to Acadiana a rich experience for tourists. He is well-known by all Francophone countries as the Ambassadeur of all cultures and ethnic groups in south Louisiana.
On March 31, 2001, nearly 250 years after the Acadians were re-settled in Louisiana by Spain, LeBlanc and group of Acadians were received by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia in Jackson, Mississippi.
LeBlanc has been active in tourism promotion at all levels, having served as a member of the Louisiana Tourist Development Commission, member of the Louisiana Scenic Byways Commission, President of the board of the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, President of the Louisiana Fairs and Festivals Association, President of the Louisiana Attractions Association, President of the Lafayette Chapter-Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL), and board member for the Acadiana Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. He has received many honors such as Louisiana Travel Attraction “Employee of the Year”, bestowed by the Louisiana Travel Promotional Association and the Louisiana Attractions Association for his development of programs and activities at Acadian Village and his contributions to the developmentally disabled clients of the Alleman Developmental Center. He was "King Cotton" of the Cotton Festival, Ville Platte, Louisiana. In addition, he was the Cajun French Music Association 1991 CFMA “Ambassador at Large” and the recipient of the1989 “Distinguished Service Award” by the Louisiana Restaurant Association.
LeBlanc was married to Louella Thibodeaux LeBlanc and he has two children, Susan LeBlanc Guilbeau and Jay Louis LeBlanc.