Robert J. LaFortune
Former Mayor of Tulsa
Tulsa civic leader and oilman Robert LaFortune was born at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, January 24, 1927. In 1920, his father Joseph Aloysius LaFortune and his mother Gertrude Leona Tremel LaFortune, had moved to Tulsa from South Bend, Indiana. Joseph LaFortune worked for Warren Petroleum Company for approximately 30 years, retiring as executive vice president. Before and after retirement, he maintained a significant community presence and funded the development of LaFortune Park in Tulsa. Among his many gifts to the University of Notre Dame, he donated funds to renovate the Science Hall into the school’s first student center.
Robert (Bob) LaFortune served as Tulsa’s commissioner of streets and public property (1964–70) and as mayor (1970–78). As commissioner, he participated in the development of the Port of Catoosa through purchasing land for the port and working with engineers on its design. As mayor, he played a significant role in developing Tulsa’s freeway system and securing public-private funding for construction of the city’s Performing Arts Center.
Among his service to many executive boards, LaFortune has been a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America. He was a 1982 recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
Robert LaFortune and his wife Jeanne Morse LaFortune, a native Tulsan, raised six children, Suzanne Bynum, Kathleen Phoenix, Annette Murray, Robert J. LaFortune, Jr., John M. LaFortune, and Phillip T. LaFortune.
Interview with Robert LaFortune
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: March 5, 2013
Date Published: November 18, 2013
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: Gulf Oil, Warren Petroleum, President Eisenhower, V-J Day, Amerada, Dewey Bartlett, Senator Robert Kerr, Mike Monroney, President Nixon, McClellan-Kerr Navigation Channel, LaFortune Park, LaFortune Cancer Center, Port of Catoosa, Mayor, G.T. Bynum, John Williams, Ella Fitzgerald , Architect Yamasaki