Lolis Elie
(1930 — 2017)


As remembered by Ivan Lemelle
April 4, 2017

A local legal giant has passed. Lolis Elie's niece, Suzanne Richardson called few minutes ago with news that Lolis died peacefully at home today. A brief history of his professional career follows:

Lolis Elie (1930-2017) was a civil rights attorney. A native of New Orleans, Elie attended Howard University and Dillard University, and later graduated in 1959 from Loyola Law School. After graduation, Elie started a legal practice with Loyola classmate Nils Douglas and Louisiana State University Law School graduate Robert Collins.

In 1960 the New Orleans chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) asked Elie and his firm to represent CORE after a sit-in campaign. Elie and his firm defended CORE chapter President Rudy Lombard and three others who were arrested for staging a sit-in protest at the lunch counter of the McCrory Five and Ten Cent Store in New Orleans. They appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court which, in its decision, declared the city's ban on sit-ins unconstitutional.

Elie's firm also provided free legal counsel to the Consumers' League, a group of black civil rights activists who protested discriminatory employment practices. Elie was one of eleven supporters of the Freedom Riders who met with then Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1961, when Kennedy encouraged them to shift their efforts to registering black Southerners to vote.


As remembered by Joyce Ladner
April 4, 2017

I am sorry to hear that Lolis Elie has joined the ancestors. That New Orleans crew of CORE people was very special. I met Lolis through Rudy Lombard. May his soul Rest In Peace.

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