Reporter, columnist, and editor Errol Laborde
is a native of New Orleans. He has spent his journalistic career dedicated to
preserving that which is uniquely New Orleans. Currently the editor of New
Orleans Magazine and editor and publisher of Louisiana Life, he is
also the producer of the award-winning public television show Informed
Sources on WYES-TV, which delves into local politics.
Since 1972, Mr. Laborde has won more than twenty-five New
Orleans Press Club Awards for outstanding journalism. In 2004 he won the Ashton
Phelps Sr. Memorial Award for editorial writing, and in 2003 he and his wife
received the Hornblower Award. They were honored for their careers and devotion
to the enhancement and preservation of what makes New Orleans unique.
A member of the mayor's Mardi Gras task force, his devotion
to New Orleans cultural preservation includes starting Twelfth Night, a kickoff
to the carnival season that involves a celebration with a Phunny Phorty Phellows
party on a streetcar. He helped to start the tradition of the Zulu and Rex
parades arriving from the Mississippi River, and the annual Mardi Gras
Mask-a-Thon. Mr. Laborde is also the founding president and a current board
member of the annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, which has
helped to develop tourism for New Orleans.
His book I Never Danced With an Eggplant (On a
Streetcar Before): Chronicles of Life and Adventure in New Orleans
is a collection of essays he has written for his column, “Streetcar,” which
currently runs in New Orleans Magazine. The column was started in the
Gris-Gris newspaper by Don Lee Keith, and later taken over by Mr. Laborde.
For two years “Streetcar” disappeared and Mr. Laborde tried
to recreate it with his column, “Parade.” When that didn't work, he took an
associate editor position at Gambit Weekly in 1982, and “Streetcar” was
brought back to life. The column has won him two first place awards in the Press
Club of New Orleans' column category and, in 1985, the Alex Waller Award, the
Press Club's highest honor for writing achievement.