LaFortune, Robert J. | 1975
- Birth and Death Year | 1927 - Present
- Induction Year | 1975
- Profession | Oilman
- Oklahoma Connection | LaFortune was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Hometown | Tulsa
Robert LaFortune won his very first race for political office in 1964 and became the first person in Tulsa’s history to be elected to the City Commission without opposition in 1966.
“Parental advice in our home encouraged hard work and preparation. Both our parents were extremely patient, but very pragmatic.” - Robert LaFortune, 1975
Oklahoma native Robert J. LaFortune graduated from Tulsa’s Cascia Hall High School in 1944 before attending the University of Tulsa from 1946 until 1948 and graduating with a chemical engineering degree from Purdue University in 1951. LaFortune found success in chemical and pipeline coating sales, as a rotary drilling contractor and as an independent oil operator before making his first race for public office in 1964, where he was twice elected to the city commission. In 1970, he won his first race for Mayor of Tulsa, where he served several more terms. A member of the board of directors of the Oklahoma Municipal League and the National League of Cities, Mayor LaFortune received on behalf of Tulsa the National Municipal League’s All-American City Award for three major programs, all oriented to encourage citizen participation in the affairs of local government. He received the Boy Scout’s Silver Antelope Award, the highest award given by the historic organization, on a multi-state basis. He was also an active member of the YMCA, Tulsa’s Christ the King Catholic Church, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews.