February 3, 2023
To those of us who are natives of Los Angeles the name Tom Bradley is by no means unfamiliar. He not only served as the first black mayor of Los Angeles but his service as mayor from 1973 to 1993 is recognized as the longest of any mayor in city history.
Mayor Bradley was born into a sharecropping family in Calvert, Texas in 1917. The family moved west, and landed in Los Angeles in 1924. He attended Los Angeles public schools and earned an athletic scholarship to UCLA where he studied before joining the Los Angeles Police Department in 1940.
Mayor Bradley’s, entry into politics began after becoming a lawyer and participating in the political campaigns of presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956. It was during these campaigns that Mayor Bradley formed strong alliances with Latino and Jewish communities in the Los Angeles area. He went onto run and win five elections for the mayoral seat.