Warren A. Perrin was born of March 11, 1947 in the hamlet of Henry, located in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. The son of Henry Lolly and Ella Mae Broussard Perrin, he graduated from Henry High School in 1965, UL Lafayette in 1969 and LSU Law School in 1972. In 1969 he married Mary Lenny Broussard; they have three children: Rebecca Perrin Ouellet, married to Jean Ouellet, Andrew Perrin, married to Corée Perrin, and Bruce Perrin. Perrin has four grandchildren, Nicolas Ouellet, Lily Mae Ouellet, Henry Perrin and Nicoline Perrin. After law clerking for Judge J. Cleveland Frugé at the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, Perrin founded the firm of Perrin, Landry, deLaunay, Dartez and Ouellet with offices in Lafayette, Erath, Maurice and Houma.
In 1990, Perrin, and his good friend, Weldon Granger, established the non-profit Acadian Heritage & Culture Foundation, Inc., owner of the Acadian Museum of Erath which is supported by many volunteers form Erath who operate the facility. In 1996, under Director Kermit Bouillion, the Acadian Museum established the “Order of Living Legends,” which, under Director Kermit Bouillion, honors individuals who helped to shape and promote the French culture of Louisiana.
For fifteen years Perrin spearheaded a campaign to compel Queen Elizabeth II of England to acknowledge and apologize for the Acadians’ expulsion from Nova Scotia. In 1988, Perrin began an intense historical study of his ancestors’ plight after his youngest son, Bruce, asked him what the Acadians had done wrong to be expelled from Nova Scotia. He began researching the issue from a historical and legal perspective. The more Perrin read, the more he became incensed. In January, 1990, with the support and urging of many, Perrin presented a Petition on behalf of the Acadian people to the British government and Crown seeking an apology for the deportation of the Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755. Perrin merged his efforts with the S.N.A., Société Nationale de l'Acadie and this successfully resulted in a Royal Proclamation being signed on December 9, 2003 and decreeing July 28th as the annual Day of Commemoration of the Acadian Deportation. In recognition of this accomplishment, the French-American Chamber of Commerce honored him on January 20, 2004 with a special Cultural Achievement award. On August 11, 2004, the Broussard Family organization of Louisiana, La Famille Beausoleil, recognized Perrin for his achievements, by presenting him with the “Beausoleil Award” during the Congrès Mondial Acadien in Nova Scotia, Canada.
In 1993, Perrin represented the United States at the World Human Rights Conference held in Normandy, France, where he made a presentation on his Petition for an Apology. Subsequently, he founded the Human Rights Conference held in conjunction with Festival International de Louisiane, which annually presented programs dealing with cultural and minority rights.
In 1994, Governor Edwards, named Perrin to serve as President of CODOFIL, the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana. He was then re-appointed in 1996 by Governor Foster and in 2004 by Governor Blanco. Perrin has worked tirelessly to promote the Francophone culture. He has developed new initiatives, programs and organizations to involve the African-Americans, Creoles and the Houma native people of Louisiana in the movement to restore pride in their unique cultures. In recognition, he was the recipient of the “Cajun of the Year” award by the Cajun French Music Association.
In recognition of his leadership role in the Acadian community of North America, Perrin was invited to be a featured speaker at the 1994 Congrès Mondial Acadien in Moncton, New Brunswick. Following that event, he was instrumental in having Louisiana host the Congrès Mondial Acadien in Louisiana in 1999 as part of FrancoFête ‘99, an idea he promoted to help celebrate the state’s tricentennial. In support of that initiative, Perrin served as President of a Task Force of individuals appointed by then-Lt. Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, to carry out this year-long event comprised of over 1,500 separate cultural celebrations.
In 1997, Perrin received an invitation from French President Chirac to represent the United States at the World Francophone Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. Perrin accompanied the French President and used the opportunity to invite the French-speaking community to come visit Louisiana for FrancoFête.
Perrin has been the subject of articles appearing in leading publications such as Esquire Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, Canadian Bar Journal, The Smithsonian, Paris Match Magazine, Le Monde, Los Angeles Times, The Economist and The London Observer. In an article appearing in Esquire magazine in 2004, he was described as the “defender of the Cajuns.” He has published numerous professional articles in legal publications and served on the Advisory Editorial Board for the Daily Advertiser newspaper.
Since 1979, Perrin has been an adjunct professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Further, he was the co-founder of the Francophone Section of the Louisiana Bar Association and the Babineaux International Civic Law Symposium. In recognition of those efforts, he was given the award of L’Ecole de Droit by the University of Moncton in 1991.
From 1993-94 Perrin served as President of University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association. In recognition of his services to his alma mata, Perrin was named by President Ray Authement to serve on the Professional Services Division of the University’s Centennial Campaign.
In 1987, he was inducted into UL of Lafayette’s Athletic Hall of Fame for his athletic achievements: he was a member of the then-USL Weightlifting Teams that won the National Collegiate Weightlifting Championships in 1966, ‘67 and ‘68.
In May, 2000, his family honored his father’s memory by establishing the Henry L. Perrin Memorial Endowed Scholarship at UL Lafayette which annually awards a scholarship to two Vermilion Parish High School graduates. Additionally, in 2001, Perrin’s law firm established the Memorial Endowed Scholarship for French Immersion studies at UL Lafayette which provides funds to send students to attend the Sainte-Anne Université in Nova Scotia.
In 1979 Perrin was named by LSU to head its Alumni Fund drive in Acadiana. He serves on the Board of Directors of “Friends of French Studies” at LSU and has been a panelist for legal seminars at the LSU Law Center.
Perrin has been the subject of interviews which have been televised and broadcast nationally and internationally, including National Public Radio, TV 5 North American, USA National TV Network, the BBC of London, and CBS’s morning news show “Sunday Morning.”
Perrin has been honored with the following awards:
1990 "Newsmaker of the Year," The
Times of Acadiana;
1991 “Outstanding Contribution to French law,” University of
Moncton School of Law;
1992 “Outstanding Service to the Community," Better Business Bureau
1993 Finalist, World Human Rights Conference, Normandy, France;
1994 Guest speaker, Congrès Mondial Acadien, New Brunswick,
1995 "Outstanding Service and Dedication Award," USL Alumni Association;
1996 Chief, Louisiana Delegation, Accords between governments of France and
1997 Representative of the State of Louisiana at the World Francophone Summit,
1998 Cajun French Music Association “Heritage Award;”
1999 “Outstanding Businessman of Acadiana,” The Times of Acadiana;
1999 Honorary Doctorate of Laws, degree Université Sainte-Anne,
Nova Scotia and “French National Order of Merit” conferred by President
Jacques Chirac of France;
2000 “Distinguished Service Award,” Louisiana Restaurant Association
and “Louisiana Rural Tourism Success Award,” LSU Louisiana Sea
2001 “International Achievement Award,” International Trade Development
2002 “Order of Merit,” The Council for French Development, Quebec,
2003 “Cultural Preservation Award” by Vermilionville;
2004 “Cultural Achievement Award” by the French-American Chamber
“Pioneer Award” by the Abbeville Cultural and Historical
“Beausoleil Broussard Award” from the Famille Beausoleil
2005 Book “Acadian Redemption” named “Best History Book” of
2004 by the Louisiana Press Women’s Association;
2005 Honoree representing Louisiana, along with May Bouchard of Pomquet, Nova
Scotia, to unveil the Acadian Odyssey Commemorative Memorial Monument in Halifax
Harbor, Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 28, 2005;
2005 Recipient, “President’s Award,” from the CFMA for cultural
preservation and promotion;
2006 Recipient, “Venet d’Or de la Francophonie,” International
Organization of French at the United Nations;
2006 Award of Merit, American Association of State and Local History.
2007 Induction into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame.
In 1999, Perrin was named by the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representative
Charles Dewitt to serve on the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Commission which
organized that year-long celebration and served as Chairman of the International
In 2003, Perrin was named as a Honorary Chevalier by the Giant Omelette Festival of Abbeville and “Goodwill Ambassador” by the City of Lafayette. In 2004, Perrin authored the first biography of an Acadian exile, Acadian Redemption, which is a historical narrative that defines the 18th century society of Acadia into which Joseph Beausoleil Broussard was born in 1702 and his subsequent militant struggles against the British to prevent the destruction of his Acadian culture and led his people to Louisiana. All proceeds from the sale of the book have been donated to support the Acadian Museum of Erath.
In 2004, Perrin was featured in an Esquire Magazine article “Louisiana
Highway 90" wherein he was called “Defender of the Cajuns.”
In 2005, he was featured in an National Geographic article (July, 2005, “Remembering The Acadians”) wherein it was stated: “After years of pleas by Louisiana lawyer (and Acadian descendant) Warren Perrin, Queen Elizabeth II has acknowledged Britain’s part in the exile. July 28the decree’s 250th anniversary will be Canada’s first annual day of Acadian commemoration. Perrin is satisfied: ‘It’s never too late to right a wrong.’”
Perrin’s work in promoting the French culture has elevated him to the pantheon of leading cultural activists and has helped to reinvigorate the Cajun pride movement through his Petition for an Apology, the establishment of the Acadian Museum and his many ongoing CODOFIL activities.