SHREVEPORT, LA (By: Tom Pace, Executive Editor, The Talk of the Town) BREAKING: SHREVEPORT ICON, POLITICAL CONSULTANT, ANGELO ROPPOLO “THE KINGMAKER” DIES AT AGE 92 July-3-2012 I was stunned when the four words appeared in a text message on my cell phone: “Angelo is with God.”
It was like a FLASH News Bulletin from the Associated Press. This time though, sent from Angelo’s son Rickey Roppolo: Monday night 10:44pm, July 2nd. Like a branding iron, the words were seared into my brain.
Angelo Roppolo had finally joined the Almighty’s Kingdom. He was at rest now. Having just turned 92 on June 29th, this political icon would leave a lasting impact…some seven decades of counseling the movers and shakers across Shreveport-Bossier, the state of Louisiana, and in many cases, this nation.
Visitation for Angelo Roppolo will be Thursday, July 5th, 4pm-8pm at Rose Neath Funeral Home, Marshall Street location. Services will be at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, 929 Jordan St., Shreveport, La. He is survived by his wife, Jackie; son, Rickey; and daughter, Joan; plus many other family members.
It was a running joke: he would call longtime friend and confidant Charlie Davis, “the Kingmaker” – all the while we KNEW that Angelo was THE REAL “Kingmaker”…and I would remind him of that on a regular basis.
Angelo was THE MAN who directed the very lives, futures, and fortunes of most who ascended to political office, all from his A & A Bonding headquarters at 405 Crockett Street in downtown Shreveport.
Probably the high point of his legacy is the Annual Red Mass Celebration, started 20 years ago with his close friend, the late Don Miller. Angelo was also very proud of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Award that he received in 2010 at Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church in Plain Dealing.
When asked if he would run for political office, Angelo would say, “I’m just a nickel politician running for the city limits.” During the last month he resided at the Grace Home in Shreveport, Angelo was visited by hundreds of family and friends that included the likes of former Governors Edwin Edwards, Kathleen Blanco, and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.
Recently, as friend and publisher of The Fax-Net News, Lou Burnett reported, Angelo learned he would be inducted into the 2013 class of the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. He also received recognition in the U.S. Senate’s Congressional Record, as well as a Joint Resolution by the Louisiana House and Senate, along with tributes from the Shreveport City Council, the Caddo Commission, and the Louisiana Hayride.
Blunt with his advice, that was Angelo. Just ask any of the hundreds of city, parish, state or congressional politicians, judges and law enforcement officials alike – you had to get Angelo’s blessing to get elected.
Born in Algiers, Louisiana, right across the river from New Orleans, Angelo was one of ten children, and he worked hard to help take care of his family.
Right after receiving his Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, I was blessed to get an extremely rare interview ever given by Angelo…as he invited me to sit down with him in his Crockett Street Headquarters.
During the eight minute recorded conversation, he spoke with great pride of receiving that award, and then went on to humbly say he was instrumental in getting the late Paul Lynch elected as the first black District Court Judge in Shreveport … as well as helping Judge Gay Gaskins become the first female elected to the court in Caddo parish.
No one will ever, nor can ever replace Angelo Roppolo. He was truly one of a kind. Now, “The Kingmaker” has a new office, in the Heavenly Kingdom. And, in all likelihood, he’s telling St. Peter “…you see, I’m just a nickel politician running for the Pearly Gates.”