May 29, 1973 – Tom Bradley Elected Mayor of Los Angeles
In Black History Today, Thomas Bradley was elected the first African American Mayor of Los Angeles, California on May 29, 1973. Bradley served for twenty years which is longer than any other mayor of the city. Born the son of sharecroppers and the grandson of a slave in Calvert, Texas on December 29, 1917, Bradley later became one of the most successful politicians of the 20th century. He joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1941 and retired as a Lieutenant. He became an attorney after retiring from the police department prior to entering politics. As mayor Bradley was instrumental in much of Los Angeles’s growth and it’s hosting of the 1984 Summer Olympics. Los Angeles became the nation’s second most populated city under his administration. Upon retiring from Mayor in 1993, Bradley ran unsuccessful campaigns for Governor of California in 1982 and 1986. Bradley was married to Ethel Arnold. He died September 29, 1998 in Los Angeles.