Aug 19, 2019

Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana governor during Hurricane Katrina, has died

 In this Dec. 18, 2007, file photo, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco conducts an interview in her office Baton Rouge, La.
Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco. Photo: Bill Haber/AP

Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D), who led Louisianians during Hurricane Katrina, one of the state's "darkest hours," died of cancer Sunday, said Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) , paying tribute to the "trailblazer" on Twitter. She was 76.

Why it matters: Per Edwards, his predecessor broke down many barriers to become the first woman elected governor of Louisiana, "leading the way for others to follow. " "She stands among the giants who have helped shaped Louisiana’s history," Edwards said.

The big picture: Doctors successfully treated Blanco for cancer in her eye in 2011, but it later returned and spread to her liver, AP reports. "I’ve had an extraordinarily full life," the devout Catholic told the Advocate in December 2017, when she announced she was being treated for the incurable melanoma.

Go deeper