Leger honored posthumously with Hector San Miguel award
Published 6:24 am Friday, December 6, 2013
Bill Leger, reporter and anchor at KFDM-TV in Beaumont, Texas, was honored posthumously by the Hector San Miguel Memorial Fund on Thursday at its annual luncheon at L’Auberge Casino Resort.
Leger, a native of Kinder, died in late 2012. He was known for his investigative reports and his coverage of hurricanes and the space shuttle explosion over Texas in 2003.
“Bill was the undisputed ring leader of the KFDM newsroom, but his influence reached far beyond Channel 6,” said Jackie Simien, who worked with Leger for 13 years. “He set the bar for journalists in Southeast Texas and in Southwest Louisiana, and that bar was high.”
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Leger’s father, Stanley Leger, accepted the award in his son’s honor.
“Bill knew and admired Hector. They were friends, and they were associates in that great fraternity of journalism professions, whose mission is to implement one of the most basic rights — the right to know the truth as defined in the First Amendment in the Constitution and delivered through the freedom of the press,” Stanley Leger said. “I know that Bill would feel deeply honored that his name and Hector’s will be forever linked through this distinguished award.”
San Miguel, an investigative reporter at the American Press, died in 2009. The memorial fund was established in his memory and acknowledges others for their achievement in the journalism field.
Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards was the keynote speaker at the fourth annual event and talked about the importance of journalism in an effective society.
“As a public figure who has been in politics for 40 years, I can tell you the thing that most keeps us honest — except our own personal commitment to values we endure — are the members of the press,” Edwards said.
He said he has been criticized more by the media than any other public figure in Louisiana. “Some I deserved, some I didn’t,” he said. “But nevertheless, I was always available to (the media).”
Journalists serve a great purpose, he said. “They keep us informed. Every day in our lives in our complex society, something is happening we need to know about.”
The fund also selected KPLC-TV reporter Gerron Jordan as the recipient of a professional conference award. The fund will cover Jordan’s expenses to attend next year’s National Association of Black Journalists national convention.
The advisory board of the Hector San Miguel Memorial Fund comprises Sonny Marks, chair; Kerry Andersen, event chair; Carla Chrisco; Peter Dart; Brett Downer; Ann McMurry; Rick Richard; Theresa Schmidt San Miguel; Vic Stelly; George Swift; and Debra Vaughan.
Donations may be made to the fund by contacting the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana at 491-6688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards. (American Press Archives)