Kirt Bennett, a community leader in Baton Rouge and former candidate for lieutenant governor, died Monday night.
Bennett placed fourth in the 2003 race for lieutenant governor, an election won by Mitch Landrieu. A year later, he served as a delegate for the state at the Republican National Convention.
In 1993, he founded the Young Leaders’ Academy, a boys’ school dedicated to mentoring and educating black students in Baton Rouge. The effort attracted the attention of Oprah Winfrey. Bennett appeared on her show in April 2001. Her donation to the school brought in more contributions from across the nation. Essence magazine also singled out Bennett and the school for their work.
He also founded the Pinchback Society, named after the state’s first black governor who served briefly during Reconstruction.