Rodney Fertel’s Gorilla Campaign

1969: Rodney Fertel ran for mayor of New Orleans on what he called the "primate platform". He promised that, if elected, he would "Get a gorilla for the zoo." This was his primary campaign issue. He campaigned by standing on street corners, sometimes dressed in a safari outfit, sometimes in a gorilla suit, handing out miniature plastic gorillas to passers-by.

Rodney Fertel with a baby gorilla

Fertel lost the election, receiving only 310 votes, but he kept his promise by donating a pair of West African gorillas the following year to New Orleans' Audubon Zoo, at his own expense.

Incidentally, Rodney was the former husband of Ruth Fertel, who founded Ruth's Chris Steak House. Fertel's son has written a book about his parents titled The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak: A New Orleans Family Memoir.

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     Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 03, 2020
     Category: Animals | Politics | Strange Candidates | 1960s

Rodney is trying to teach the gorilla about football presumably because the Saints franchise was new at that time.
Ruth Fertel started by buying the well-known, local Chris Steak House; hence, the double name.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 11/03/20 at 08:37 AM
Bonzo Jr.?

R. Limbaugh used to do adverts for the steak house, but there were no locations given and I've never seen one in my travels. I'm curious as to the level of the cuisine and if it's worth trying to find one?
Posted by KDP on 11/03/20 at 04:03 PM
KDP, the steaks at Ruth's Chris are truly excellent. It will cost you as much as some people pay for a car.
Posted by Dave Hanford on 11/03/20 at 10:16 PM
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