In Gentilly the other day I drove past a street I have seen many times: Norman Mayer. Can you please tell me who he was?
The Norman Mayer for whom the street was named was an important civic and business leader in New Orleans who founded Norman Mayer and Company, cotton brokers. He died at age 62 on Aug. 5, 1937.
A few years later, his widow Fannie Levy Mayer died on May 29, 1940. Mrs. Mayer was a very generous woman. In 1938, in memory of her husband, who had been actively involved in the development of Touro Infirmary, she donated $60,000 for construction of a home for Touro interns. She also donated $250,000 to the New Orleans Public Library system. This money was used to build the library branch named for her husband on Foy Street in Gentilly, which was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.
In addition, Mrs. Mayer gave Tulane University the funds to construct a building in memory of her husband to be used by the College of Commerce and Business Administration. The Norman Mayer Memorial Building was constructed in 1942. She gave an additional sum for construction of a building to house the Norman Mayer Memorial Library. The second section of this building was added in 1949.