NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Jason Cantrell, known for his role as First Gentleman of New Orleans by many, was a long-term contributor to the city.

He spent much of his life as an attorney with a private law practice, working in criminal defense, civil and family law and was also a former public defender.

He also worked at the city attorney’s office prior to Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s first term.

“People know him as the first dude or the first gentleman, but he had his own professional life. He had his own life as public services. As a matter of fact, that’s how we met,” Councilman Oliver Thomas said.

Outside of his professional career, he was also known for being a great man and friend.

“You never left him without either a good belly laugh or at least a big smile. He thought that was his job to bring that into every room,” District Attorney Jason Williams said.

Along with the mayor, Jason Cantrell leaves behind his daughter, Rayann.

“The most important thing to think about is the fact that Rayann, his daughter, attorney Cantrell’s daughter and mayor Cantrell’s daughter, doesn’t have a father today; and that Mayor Cantrell has lost someone who is a long time partner and husband,” Councilman Eugene Green said.

“It is really sad to lose a friend. I actually met the mayor through him. I was at their wedding, so you know it’s just a very sad day,” Williams said.

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