Charles Walker Saussy Jr.

Though he was born to a family of little repute, Charles Saussy, Jr. networked his way into the world of Southern aristocracy. He married the daughter of a former governor and was eventually involved in many political campaigns, social causes, and public addresses. He also held many leadership positions. In his lifetime, he held three New Orleans residences to his name. Though he did not necessarily die a rich man, he died an influential man and played a prominent role in a top New Orleans advertising agency.

Quest to Gain A Name

Charles Walker Saussy, Jr. was born on March 24th, 1901 in Savannah, Georgia. [1] After graduating from Georgia Tech, he networked his way into the world of Southern aristocracy. In 1926, he gained a permanent place in society when the Times Picayune announced his engagement to Miss Virginia Walker. [2] More prominent than her husband-to-be, Virginia Parker was a socialite whose father, John M. Parker, had previously served as the Louisiana state governor. Miss Parker was noted in the Times Picayune for attending many luncheons oftentimes without Mr. Saussy. From April through June, the Times Picayune covered their wedding in 13 separate articles. Immediately after, the newlyweds resided in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where they lived until September 18, 1926 when they settled onto Roberts Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. [3] Mr. and Mrs. Walker Saussy began a family that grew to include eight children: Suzanne, Elaine, Jeanne, Carroll, Gordon, Lolita Airey, Parker, and Stephen Duncan. In 1934 they relocated to 2339 Octavia Street, New Orleans, and kept their Roberts Street home. In January, 1956, his family relocated once again to 1525 Eighth Street and sold his property on Octavia Street. [4]

On January 14th, 1932, Walker and Granville Sewell opened an advertising agency called Saussy and Sewell Advertising. The offices were located in the Canal Bank building. The Times Picayune reported that the “new agency was prepared to present to southern advertisers a complete service.” [5] This business eventually became Walker Saussy Advertising, and often was used to help aid Saussy’s causes.

Social Clubs and Campaigns

Although Walker Saussy went on to become the head of Walker Saussy Advertising, which first opened in 1932, he was extremely involved with many social causes before and after the founding of the company. Many of his advertising campaigns reflected his social interest and wide social influence.

In 1927, The Times Picayune noted that he had gained membership in the Young Men’s Business Club. At the time, YMBC had recently decided to raise a sign for the city’s landing strip (Alvin Callender Airport) saying “South by Southeast” in preparation for Lindbergh’s visit. [6] Other group projects of this club include study of the natural gas situation, experiments on Jefferson Ave. with street markers on curbing, Will Rogers Flood Relief Benefit, and transporting goods to people who were driven out of St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes after the flood of 1927. [7] In 1934, when Walker was serving on the Young Men’s Business Club board-at-large, the Young Men’s Business Club opposed ratification of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Waterway Treaty. In 1939, he outlined the New Orleans Brewing Company’s newspaper campaign. That same year, he also campaigned for James A. Noe, who was running for the state senator of Louisiana. He was highly regarded by Noe, who said that, “In selecting Mr. Saussy, I feel that we have secured an outstanding man, one whose civic and business record is a laudable tribute to his energy and ability.” [8] After his resignation in 1940, he continued his involvement with the organization.
Upon accepting the job as campaign manager for senator James Noe, Charles Walker Saussy, Jr. said, “I am making a big sacrifice in accepting the job. My business cannot spare me. But…I feel that Jimmy Noe is the only man who can and will defeat the present corrupt state administration.”

In 1933, Walker Saussy began an advertising campaign for re-employment. This plan’s target audience was representative businessmen and industries. Advertising Men were waiving their commissions, and newspapers were only charging a production fee. In order to gain support for the campaign, especially financially, Walker Saussy proposed it as a civic duty. This emergency re-employment plan aimed to strategically include FDR’s Blue Eagle in every window of every American home. [9]

Mr. Saussy led the New Orleans Jones Delegation as they paraded at the inauguration of Sam Jones in on May 15th, 1940. He served on the Hibernia Homestead Board of Directors. That same year, Walker Saussy was appointed to the Parish board of election supervisors. [10] From 1940 through 1946, Walker Saussy was the head of advertising for the Charity Hospital of New Orleans. In January, 1941, he was named as a member of the Public Relations Committee to The Charity Hospital. [11] [12] He gave speeches during the war, helped recruit and institute a new program for new female nurses [13] , and proposed that Latin American postgraduate students be sent to work at the Charity Hospital [14] .Walker Saussy did not resign from the Charity Hospital board until March 22, 1946 [15] .

In 1946, Saussy also began to work for a school called the Academy of the Arts. This school aimed to train students in the art of advertising. Walker Saussy was set to be one of the school’s officers. [16] Following his wife’s death in 1957, he was elected to the Board of New Orleans branch of the American Cancer Society. [17] In 1948, he was elected the president of Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo Association. [18]

Military/Defense Involvement

Walker Saussy had a prominent role in military and defense advertising during World War II. He co-chaired the publicity committee of the New Orleans Division of the United States Organizations for the National Defense, Inc. and enrolled his employees at Walker Saussy Advertising in a payroll plan to help aid war financing. In 1942, he wrote a letter to the newspaper and the radio asking for women to enroll in the Charity Hospital’s program for new nurses. [19] In 1943, Walker Saussy served the role of publicity chairman in New Orleans’ bond drive. His campaign urged Americans, namely New Orleanians, to buy bonds in honor of Hitler on his birthday. [20]
On October 4, 1942, Charles Walker Saussy, Jr. addressed the Traffic Club during Insured Homestead Week. He said, “It would be wise to invest money in war bonds, thus being assured of a saving which at a later date could be put toward a home.”

Public speeches

Saussy was engaged in society and many of the social causes. In addition to heading up an advertising company, Walker addressed the public on many occasions. In 1927, Mr. Saussy addressed Gibson Hall of Tulane University on “Natural Gas and What it Means to New Orleans” at the 14th Ward Civic League.” [21] In the address, he asserted that natural gas should be used for domestic consumption rather than industrial and also spoke against the New Orleans Public Service. In March of 1933, he presented a resolution to the board of directors of The Association of Commerce calling for prohibition laws to be repealed. He was commissioned as advertiser of the American Brewing Company and wished for the governor to “repeal the Hood Law and legalize the manufacture and sale of beer.” [22] In 1937, Saussy spoke at the Roosevelt’s Lion Club about economic recovery in New Orleans. He also delivered an address at the Louisiana Press Association on behalf of McCann-Erickson Advertising, Inc. regarding building up an advertising campaign. The following year, though the location is unknown, he presented an experiment on the odors of peppermint and chocolate. He asserted that the scents be sprayed atop candy store counters to lure customers. [23] That same year, Saussy commented on the five-year plan in Russia. Walker Saussy even reviewed a book at the meeting of the Co-Operative Club at the Roosevelt Hotel. In 1940, he gave a mini course to Ford Motor Company employees for Mercury sales. He also gave a WDSU-radio talk on the Constitutional Amendments. In 1942, he spoke on WNOE-radio on behalf of Congressman Hale Boggs. After the war, Saussy also gave a speech on Taxation at the Louisiana Homestead and Building and at the Loan League’s convention. In 1952, he spoke at the Louisiana Press Association saying, “Newspapers have become obsolete in influencing the opinion of the voters, and, although they may think they influence him, they don’t.” [24]

In one speech to the Rotary Club at the St. Charles Hotel, Charles Walker Saussy Jr said, “The American businessman must produce an economic dogma for the average man…in which the worker can be as fanatical about as some are fanatical about the writing of Karl Marx.”

Scandals

In 1934, his company partook in the case of the State of Louisiana vs. Walker Saussy. The judgment for the plaintiff was $100. [25]

In 1956, Charles Walker Saussy, Jr. was a juror for the Joseph Gretnor’s case. He was charged with theft of a bag of coffee. Walker was accused of discussing the case with other jurors. He denied this accusation. [26]

Death

At the age of 52, his wife (Virginia Parker) died. [27] About a year later, Charles, Walker Saussy, Jr. died en route to the New Orleans Country Club. Although he died with only $50,009.44 to his name, Mr. Saussy left behind a legacy of eight children, a prominent New Orleans advertisement agency, many social causes, clubs, campaigns, and a love of New Orleans. [28]

Works Cited

  • “Society Has Many Dates At Present”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. March 26, 1938. p15.
  • “Entre Nous”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. April 18, 1926. p51.
  • “Miss Virginia Parker becomes bride of Charles W. Saussy, Jr.” New Orleans: Times-Picayune. May 3, 1926. p19.
  • “Social Fetes have air of informality”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. March 13, 1935. p19.
  • “Advertising Agency Offices Are Opened”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. January 14, 1932. p3.
  • “Airport Arrow on Bank Building to Direct Fliers”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. September 22, 1927. p19.
  • “Airport.” 1927.
  • “Campaign Chief in New Orleans Picked for Noe”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. November 11, 1939. p16.
  • “Plans Prepared for Every Home to Exhibit Eagle”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. August 19, 1933. p11.
  • “Wogan is Named Orleans Parish Vote Registrar”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. June 22, 1940. p1.
  • “Charity’s Board Names Part-Time Radiology Head”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. November 22, 1940. p28.
  • “Hospital School of Nursing Urges Expansion”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. January 21, 1941. p4.
  • “The Governor’s View”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. May 17, 1942. p16.
  • “Do Studies Here Doctors Urged”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. March 24, 1943. p2
  • “Monroe Named Board Member”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. March 22, 1946. p3.
  • “Non-Profit Commercial Art School to be Opened Here”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. June 1, 1947. p26.
  • “Cancer Society Work Reviewed”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. September, 19 1957. p58.
  • “Saussy Selected”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. February 22, 1958. p18.
  • “Governor’s View”. 1942.
  • “Rush in Buying Bonds Expected”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. April 20, 1943. p1.
  • “League to Hear Address on Gas”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. December 14, 1927. p8.
  • “Governor Silent on Plea for Hood Measure Repeal”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. March 17, 1933. p3.
  • “Peppermint Odors May Lure Buyers”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. April 6, 1938. p2.
  • “Views on Power of Press Differ”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. April 19, 1952. p4.
  • “Records of the Day”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. October 17, 1934. p30.
  • “Mistrial Ordered is Gerstner Case”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. April 14, 1956. p10.
  • “Rites Arranged for Mrs. Saussy”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. April 8, 1957. p1.
  • “Ad Agency Head Taken by Death”. New Orleans: Times-Picayune. April 4, 1958. p1.

This page was last modified on 27 April 2012, at 10:28

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