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​2020 Louisiana Legends Honorees

2020 Louisiana Legends: Dr. Carolyn Leach Huntoon​, Dr. Terry King​, Terry Landry​, Johnny Robinson​, and Donna Saurage​.

Dr. Carolyn Leach Huntoon

Scientist and first woman to serve as Director of NASA’S Johnson Space Center

Dr. Carolyn Leach Huntoon, Scientist and first woman to serve as Director of NASA’S Johnson Space Center

Dr. Carolyn Leach Huntoon graduated in 1958 from Leesville High School and attended nearby Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, from which she received her undergraduate degree in 1962. She procured her Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Dr. Huntoon was appointed Director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in January of 1994. She was the first woman to direct a NASA center. Before being selected for this position, she served as the center’s Director of Space and Life Sciences, a position she held since 1987. She managed and directed medical research and operations for all manned space flight missions for life science experiments.

Dr. Huntoon served Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton as the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, a Senate-confirmed position. As Assistant Secretary, she oversaw the cleanup of 113 nuclear sites in 30 states and one territory. She managed seven DOE field offices, including the Savannah River site.

After retiring from government service, Dr. Huntoon became an independent consultant in the fields of energy and aerospace. She advises both government and the private sector on the proper disposal of radioactive nuclear wastes, as well as the physiological responses to space travel.

Dr. Huntoon is a fellow in the American Astronautical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Aerospace Medical Association. She is a recipient of the Russian Yuri Gagarin Medal, which recognizes her work in space biology and medicine. She holds the S. P. Koralov Medal from the Russian Cosmonautics Federation for her work in shaping the Shuttle-Mir program.

Dr. Terry King

Renowned Pediatric Cardiologist, co-inventor of the “cardiac umbrella” surgery

Dr. Terry King, Renowned Pediatric Cardiologist, co-inventor of the “cardiac umbrella” surgery

After completing his training at the University of Texas and Duke University, Dr. Terry King joined the United States Air Force and served as a major at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Since that time, he has cared for children throughout the state of Louisiana, starting with Ochsner in 1972. Dr. King is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology.

In 1975, Dr. King and Dr. Noel Mills invented the "King Mills Cardiac Umbrella" which is a device used to close holes in the heart with a catheter. Dr. King was the first to implant the device in humans. This technology forever changed how structural defects in the heart are repaired, both in children and adults.

In 1978, Dr. King relocated to Monroe, Louisiana to care for children with heart disease and establish a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in an underserved area.

In 2001, Dr. King and his staff began the first annual pediatric symposium titled “Once Upon A Time… New Stories for Pediatrics” held at the Monroe Civic Center arena. National, regional and local faculty educate physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, students and other health care professionals on cutting edge technology and information related to pediatric healthcare.

In 2015, Dr. King rejoined the Ochsner Health System and continues his dedication to the children in north Louisiana. He is proud to be part of an outstanding pediatric cardiac service and enjoys the collaboration with other subspecialists.

Since April 8, 1975, more than a million individuals have benefited from transcatheter ASD closure–known in textbooks as the Mills-King procedure.

Outside of the medical profession, Dr. King owns Kingsland Ranch in West Monroe, and was named Louisiana Cattleman of the Year in 2016 by the Louisiana Cattleman’s Association.

Terry C. Landry, Sr.

Retired Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police

Terry Landry, Retired Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police

A resident of Lafayette and native of New Iberia, Louisiana, Terry Landry has dedicated his life to serving and protecting his community, state, and country. He proudly joined the United States Army and is a Vietnam Veteran.

Accepted into the Louisiana State Police Academy in 1977, Landry had an extensive career with the Louisiana State Police serving in various roles, which included Commander of the Crime Laboratory, Investigative Support Section, Gaming Enforcement Division, and Protective Services.

He was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, during which time he also served as Chief of Staff, Deputy Superintendent of Support, and Deputy Superintendent of Patrol. History was made in the summer of 2000 with the appointment of Colonel Terry Landry, Sr. as the first African American Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police.

Terry Landry has always been active in communities helping to support the missions of various service groups and organizations. He is often invited to serve as a keynote speaker, an expert panelist and consultant on community matters and law enforcement.

Among his legislative committee assignments as State Representative for District 96, Landry served as Chair of the Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works and on the Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay. Because of his strong advocacy for criminal justice reform, he served on the Justice Reinvestment Task Force during the 2017 legislative year. He researched and compiled evidence-based information on programs to help reduce Louisiana’s incarceration rate, the highest in-the-nation, and those cost-saving measures were reinvested into rehabilitation programs. These efforts resulted in the passage of historic legislation to reform Louisiana’s criminal justice system. He also served on the Governor’s Justice Reinvestment Implementation Oversight Council.

Johnny Robinson

Former LSU and NFL Player, 2019 NFL Hall of Fame Inductee

Johnny Robinson, Former LSU and NFL Player, 2019 NFL Hall of Fame Inductee

Johnny Robinson played halfback and safety for Louisiana State University from 1957 to 1959, and he was a part of LSU's memorable White Team backfield, along with Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, that helped the LSU Tigers win the program's first national title in football in 1958.

The Dallas Texans (now the Kansas City Chiefs) selected Robinson in the first round of the 1960 AFL Draft, and he played with the franchise throughout his 10-season career.

Robinson played tailback and flanker in his first two pro seasons, until head coach Hank Stram needed to improve his defense. Stram combined Robinson’s knowledge of professional offenses and his history as a safety at LSU to create an innovative free safety position that changed the way the position was played from then on.

After 10 seasons as a free safety, Robinson retired in 1971 with 57 career interceptions, at the time third-most in pro football history. The Chiefs appeared in two Super Bowls during his career: the inaugural "World Championship Game," in which the Green Bay Packers beat Kansas City 35-10, and Super Bowl IV, when the Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-7.

Johnny Robinson is retired and lives in Monroe, where he founded the Johnny Robinson Boys Home in 1980. The youth facility is an alternative to juvenile prison, and Robinson serves and mentors broken and troubled young men.

Donna M. Saurage

Philanthropist and Community Coffee Company Owner

Donna Saurage, Philanthropist and Community Coffee Company Owner

Donna M. Saurage is a community activist and philanthropist, having served within nonprofit sector for over 55 years. She currently serves as a Trustee of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, the Angelina and Huey Wilson Foundation, the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Foundation, and the First Presbyterian Church Foundation; and is a Board Member of New Schools for Baton Rouge (NSBR), Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) and Dream Teachers.

Saurage also serves on the board of family-owned, 100-year-old Community Coffee Company and is the Manager of CCC Holding, L.L.C.

She is an advisor and seminar presenter on the subjects of Board Governance, Board Development, Building Effective Boards and Philanthropy. Saurage has held leadership positions with more than 50 nonprofit organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens in our state.

Previously, she was involved in project development in the for-profit sector when she designed, built and operated six retail coffee, tea and gift specialty stores for Community Coffee Company. Saurage was also responsible for the start-up of the first all-suite hotel in Baton Rouge, The Residence Inn, where she served as General Manager from 1983-1985. She also worked as a headhunter for a local recruiting firm.

In recognition of her efforts in the field of voluntarism, she has been honored with: the 2015 Golden Deeds Award by the Advocate and the Inner Civic Council; Volunteer Activist by the Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Foundation; Sustainer of the Year by the Junior League of Baton Rouge; Brotherhood Award by the National Conference of Christians and Jews; Community Leadership Award by Leadership Greater Baton Rouge Alumni; Louisiana Heroine by the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations; Woman of Achievement by the YWCA; Baton Rouge High School Hall of Fame by BRHS Alumni Association; Hillar C. Moore, Jr. Outstanding Service Award by Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Solaris Award from Family Road; Live, Learn and Change the World Award from Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baton Rouge; Baton Rouge Original Award from Forum 35; Community Champion Award from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Influential Women in Business Award from the Baton Rouge Business Report, and the Ed Steimel Achievement Award from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

Donna Saurage and her late husband Norman were recipients of the Alexis de Tocqueville Award from the Capital Area United Way in 2015.