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Statement from Rita Benson LeBlanc on the passing of artist George Rodrigue

Rodrigue died Saturday evening at a hospital in Houston after a long battle with cancer. He was 69

Statement from New Orleans Saints Owner/Vice Chairman of the Board Rita Benson LeBlanc on the passing of artist George Rodrigue:

George Rodrigue was a dear friend whose dedication to the cultural heritage of Louisiana and the arts will be felt for generations. He is everywhere from the statues along Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie to the Governors' portraits in Baton Rouge.

His art and posters after Katrina raised much-needed funds for relief and the Saints were proud to partner with him to raise funds for the New Orleans Museum of Art.

He was recently honored by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, for his lifetime achievements and contributions to Southern culture, which he was unable to attend in person.

The Blue Dog's eyes and George's style of ancient oaks with their Spanish moss will always be a link to a big-hearted man who lived life fully and with humble generosity including many, many people in his happy journey.

I will miss his laughter and joyous spirit. My prayers are with him and his family who will carry on his legacy.

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