Lou Riecke was born October 2, 1926. He was the oldest of five children—three brothers and one sister. He grew up in New Orleans. He always thought of himself as an athlete, albeit a skinny one! At Jesuit High School he ran track and particularly enjoyed sprints and the long jump. During his senior year, he decided that weightlifting would help him in his efforts to gain weight so he could play football. Lou spent many long hours that summer lifting weights at the New Orleans Athletic Club and working as a lifeguard at the Ponchartrain Beach in New Orleans where he and his future wife, Enid, enjoyed performing acrobatics with friends. All his training must have paid off because he was twice named best athlete of the year, all sports, in the Greater New Orleans area.