Louie Welch, a
former five-term Houston mayor remembered for his service
to the city and a remark caught on a TV microphone that
ended his lengthy political career, died Sunday. He
from lung cancer, his son Gary told the Houston Chronicle.
career began in 1949 when he was elected to the Houston
city council. He was a council member for eight years, from
1950 until 1952 and from 1956 to 1962. After
unsuccessful mayoral bids in 1952 and 1954, Welch was
elected mayor for the first time in 1963.
Welch was mayor
in 1967 when two days of battles erupted between police
and students at predominantly black Texas Southern
University. A police officer was killed, and about 500
Texas Southern students were arrested.
In 1973 he did
not run for reelection, joining what was then the Houston
Chamber of Commerce. But he came back in 1985 in an attempt
to take the mayor's job from Kathy Whitmire.
He lost the race
after saying on an open television microphone that one
way to stop the spread of AIDS was to ''shoot the queers.''
He made the remark without realizing the microphone
responded with T-shirts that sported the slogan ''Don't
After losing to
Whitmire, Welch said he had lost ''the instinct to fight
in the rough-and-tumble that campaigns have become.'' (AP)