Tom Bradley, LA's first Black mayor

Tom Bradley
Sat, 1917-12-29

Tom Bradley, an African American administrator and politician, was born on this date in 1917.

Thomas Bradley was born in Calvert, TX. His family later moved to Los Angeles where he attended UCLA. He served 22 years in the police department, rising to the rank of lieutenant, and earned a law degree from Southwestern University Law School in Georgetown, TX, in 1956. In 1963, Bradley became the first Black elected to the Los Angeles city council. In 1973, he became the city's first Black mayor, a position he held until his retirement from politics in 1993.

During Bradley's 20 years in office, Los Angeles developed into an important world city, adding a major international airport and hosting the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. The five-time Los Angeles mayor was unable to a win higher office, despite winning the Democratic Party nomination for governor in 1982 and 1986.

In 1996, following heart surgery, Bradley suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. HE died in September 1998.

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History
Volume 1, ISBN #0-02-897345-3, Pg 175
Jack Salzman, David Lionel Smith, Cornel West

To Become a Legislator

Person / name: 

Bradley, Tom