Neville Levy was born in New Orleans in 1892. He graduated from Tulane University in 1913 with a degree in mechanical and electrical engineering. In 1917, he joined the Army, in the Military Aeronutics Service Division. In 1918 he moved to the Navy as a commissioned Ensign and was sent to Submarine School. In 1921, he resigned his commission in the Navy and accepted a commission in the Naval Reserve, where he remained until his retirement in 1941. He returned to active duty from 1941-1946 and served as the Assistant District Personnel Officer for the Eighth Naval District.
Levy was the founder, in 1921, of the Equitable Equipment Company; a shipbuilding firm specializing in tugs, barges, crewboats and supply boats, as well as floating work plants and rigs. He served from 1950 to 1958 as Chairman of the Mississippi River Bridge Authority and is credited with spearheading the construction of the Greater New Orleans Bridge. He also served on numerous corporate and civic boards, including the Board of Directors of New Orleans Public Library, the Navy League, International House, the Salvation Army, the U.S. Public Service Hospital, and Hotel Dieu and as a member of the Audubon Park Commission. He was the 1957 recipient of the Times-Picayune Loving Cup, only one of many honors given him.
Levy died on April 13, 1974.
The records are arranged alphabetically by subject matter and, within the
"personal correspondence," chronologically.
The scrapbooks are chronological, as follows:
The correspondence files deal almost exclusively with Levy's naval career. The files include both in-coming and carbon copies of outgoing correspondence and were originally labelled "personal correspondence" by Captain Levy. While much "personal" correspondence is included (e.g., letters of congratulation, thanks, condolence; letters reporting family news and personal activities), the files also include a considerable amount of Navy "business" (e.g. personnel matters, orders, papers relating to Levy's various promotions in rank and to his return to active duty in 1941, fitness reports, etc.). Levy's correspondents are, for the most part, other Naval officers, although letters are also included from politicians (Congressmen T. Hale Boggs and F. Edward Hebert; Governors James A. Noe and Robert F. Kennon; Mayor deLesseps S. Morrison) and various civic leaders. Separate files contain congratulatory messages (and Levy's replies) on the occasions of his promotion to Captain in 1945 and his return to civilian life and the Equitable Equipment Co. in 1946. A small folder of correspondence dealing with Levy's tenure as Chairman of the Board of Directors of New Orleans Public Library is also included.
The scrapbooks deal extensively with Levy's role as Chairman of the Mississippi River Bridge Authority and the construction of the Mississippi River Bridge. Also included are programs, invitations, letters, telegrams, and other memorabilia related to the social, civic, professional, and charitable activities of Levy and, occasionally, of members of his family.
Awards and Certificates
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coded: 3/31/1999 coded by: Irene Wainwright