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Louisiana Legends: The Series

Every year Friends of LPB honors a group of Louisianans who have distinguished themselves not only in our state, but whose actions have made a lasting impact on our country. They are known as Louisiana Legends. In this series, you will meet the 2023 honorees: Gayle Benson, Warrick Dunn, Gary Fields, Brigadier General Gary M. Jones, and the Pennington Family. This group of outstanding Louisianans have distinguished themselves in fields as diverse as philanthropy, sports, journalism, military service, healthcare, and the arts and humanities. Enjoy this series, and click here to read more about the 2024 Louisiana Legends honorees.

2023 Legends

The Pennington Family

Thursday, May 9 at 7:45PM

With their long history of community service, the Pennington Family has a mission: to create a healthy and prosperous Louisiana for its people, communities, arts, culture, environment, and economy. The family’s philanthropic journey began with a simple handwritten note by Claude Bernard “Doc” Pennington identifying 25 nonprofit organizations he and his wife, Irene, wanted to support. Today, one of the recipients of their benevolence, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, is one of the foremost academic nutritional research institutions in the world. Their generosity has advanced treatments for diseases including diabetes, dementia, and obesity and has enabled scientific discoveries that have resulted in life-changing improvements to people’s health, wellness, and longevity.

Watch Pennington Family: Louisiana Legends

Brigadier General Gary M. Jones

Thursday, May 16 at 7:45PM

We look at the long and distinguished military career and service of Shreveport native, Brigadier General Gary M. Jones. Jones, served 26-years as the Deputy Commander of Special Forces Command, and Deputy Commander for Clandestine Military Operations, Counter Terrorism Center, Central Intelligence Agency, where he was responsible for the synchronization of Agency and Department of Defense efforts in Afghanistan. BG Jones’ last assignment was as the Commander of the United States Army Special Forces Command, Airborne, where he was responsible for a 9,700-man Green Beret Force with worldwide responsibility for fighting the Global War on Terrorism.

Watch Brigadier General Gary M. Jones: Louisiana Legends

Gary Fields

Thursday, May 23 at 7:45PM

Hailing from Alexandria, award-winning journalist Gary Fields has more than 40 years of journalism and communication experience and any number of awards, including a Pulitzer Prize. A graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Fields is an award-winning journalist with more than 40 years of journalism and communications experience, including 30 years at The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY. Fields contributed articles on the events of September 11, 2001, earning him and his colleagues a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for Breaking News coverage. Among his distinguished recognitions, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Association of Black Journalists.

Watch Gary Fields: Louisiana Legends

Gayle Benson

Thursday, May 30 at 7:45PM

So much more than the owner of the Saints and the Pelicans, Gayle Benson is an accomplished business professional and philanthropist, dedicated to contributing to the betterment of Louisiana’s Gulf South region. Community investment and giving back have been hallmarks of Mrs. Benson’s ownership of the Saints and Pelicans. She has made generous contributions to many causes including health and wellness, cancer care, education, arts and faith-based organizations.

Watch Gayle Benson: Louisiana Legends

Warrick Dunn

Thursday, June 13 at 7:45PM

Baton Rouge native, Warrick Dunn, is a former NFL running back and Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. In addition to his impressive on-field accomplishments, he is known for his involvement in philanthropy. As a rookie for Tampa Bay, Dunn founded the Homes for the Holidays program, which partners with local organizations to fulfill his mother’s dream of making home ownership possible for single parent families. Since its inception, Homes for the Holidays has provided down-payment assistance and furnished homes for over 450 single parents and children.

Watch Warrick Dunn: Louisiana Legends