bradley

Tom Bradley

UCLA 1937-1940

African-American trailblazer, Los Angeles political legend.

The son of sharecroppers and the grandson of a slave, Tom Bradley was born in a log cabin but his journey paved the way for social justice in American politics, a legacy matched only by his impact on the city he led as the 38th Mayor of Los Angeles. Bradley's prowess at track earned him a scholarship to UCLA, following which he rose to the rank of lieutenant in the Los Angeles Police Department before becoming the first African American member of the Los Angeles City Council, and then the only African American to serve as mayor of L.A.—where he stayed for 20 years, longer than any other mayor in the city's history. Los Angeles became a world-class city under Tom Bradley, who was instrumental in bringing the 1984 Summer Olympic Games to Los Angeles, developing business hubs in Century City and Warner Center, the expansion of Los Angeles International Airport, initiating construction on a light rail system and many other accomplishments.

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