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2024 Louisiana Fur King LVI
Howard Romero

One of seven children, King Fur and his siblings worked alongside their parents to tend the fam and trapped to raise money to provide for the family. In the scorching heat of the summer, they farmed cotton, corn, and watermelons, and in the dead of wintertime, they trapped. Year-round they raised their hogs and cattle, as a way of life. When King Fur was a small boy, his father would take him and his brothers to run muskrat traps, until they became older and were able to set and run the traps themselves. They set traps around the farm, where they often caught raccoons, whose hides sold for about fifty cents each and would run them early in the morning before school. If they were lucky enough to catch a mink, their hides would fetch $18 to $20 at market, and they often felt as though they had hit a home run because this was a lot of money.

In 1962, the Louisiana alligator season was shut down to preserve their population after being overhunted. Before this time there had been no limit to how many alligators any person could harvest. Although this saved the alligator population, it killed a valuable source of revenue for King Fur’s family. During those years they continued to trap to
provide for their family, bringing as much as 6,000 to 7,000 pounds of nutria meat a day to Snead Shrimp House in Cameron. After graduating from High School in 1964, King Fur attended McNeese State University where he majored in history education and coaching, while still trapping and hunting alligators to pay his college tuition. These experiences motivated him to persevere and complete his bachelor's degree. After graduating McNeese in 1969, he began teaching and coaching basketball at Grand Lake High School. He then moved back to Johnson Bayou in 1970 to teach history and coach basketball, wrestling, and track. Meanwhile, he continued to trap animals to pay for his master's degree in education and administration, taking all his classes at night.

In 1972, the alligator hunting season reopened, and landowners could once again sell alligator skins. He and his brothers resumed hunting alligators, thanks to this new system. Hard work paid off for King Fur, earning his master's degree in 1974. Then, in 1976 he became the principal of Johnson Bayou High School where he advocated for the education of his students and cared for them greatly. Even as a high school principal, he continued to trap to make extra money.

In 1979, he and his brothers went into business building tugboats, dry docks, and barges. During this time, the alligator egg collection program began in 1986, and King Fur’s family became involved in this aspect of the alligator industry. They collected eggs every summer during June and July and sold them to farmers who raised the alligators to sell their meat and hides, releasing a certain percentage of hatched alligators back into the wild. He served as Johnson Bayou High School's principal until 1993, at which time he retired from the education system to go to work in other businesses with his brothers in the oil and construction industry and the vacuum truck business. 
Nowadays, King Fur is involved in business endeavors, but stays true to his roots by collecting alligator eggs every year in June and July and harvesting the alligators in September.


He continues to raise cattle and actively supports the Cameron parish school system. He serves as President of the Cameron Port Harbor and Terminal Districts where he has served for 20 years, searching for jobs and industry to bring in tax revenue to increase the quality of life for the people of this parish. King Fur still owns and operates several businesses, and he continues to manage land for many landowners within Cameron Parish. He keeps himself busy in his semi-retired state by traveling with his wife and children and playing with his thirteen grandchildren and great-grandchildren and considers himself proud to be a Cameron Parish resident.

King Fur is respected by many, not only because he was their high school principal or coach for many years, but also because he can strike up a meaningful conversation with anyone with his extensive background of the fur and alligator industries, as well as his passion for the well-being of Cameron Parish. King Fur is the epitome of the heart and soul of Cameron Parish. Born on what is now considered Crain Ranch in Johnson Bayou to Ruth and Paul Romero, he gives sage advice to anyone who listens, brags about his wife, Frances's cooking, and loves to
discusses his three children April, Andrew, and Allison. Congratulations to the 2024 LA Fur & Wildlife Festival King 53, Mr. Howard Romero.

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