Harry Connick Sr, longtime New Orleans DA and singer’s dad, dead at 97

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Harry Connick Sr., the longtime New Orleans district attorney, and father to two, including musician and Harry Connick Jr., has passed away at the age of 97. 

The younger Connick’s publicist confirmed the elder Connick’s death to Fox News Digital Thursday, saying that he died peacefully at his New Orleans with his children and wife by his side. 

A cause of death was not provided. 

Born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1926, Connick grew up with seven siblings. He lived through the tough years of the depression and joined the Navy in 1945, serving in the South Pacific during World War II. 

Connick ran for the office of District Attorney of Orleans Parish in 1969, but lost to Jim Garrison. He ran again four years later and dethroned the incumbent prosecutor. 

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He won re-election four times, a white politician who successfully built biracial support as the city’s political power base shifted to African Americans.

Connick remained undefeated, but in retirement he was dogged by questions about whether his office withheld evidence that favored defendants. The issue came to the forefront with a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a lawsuit filed by John Thompson, who was exonerated after 14 years on Louisiana’s death row for a killing he didn’t commit.

A lifelong music fan, he took up singing in the early 1990s and became a regular performer at nightclubs in New Orleans and across the state, in addition to many successful guest appearances with his son. 

His son’s publicist said Connick “will be deeply missed, but all who knew him were well aware that his greatest desire was to spend eternity with God in heaven.” 

Fox News’ Tracy Wright contributed to this report.

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