Tom Bradley had an extraordinary career and life. He was a respected Mayor winning a historic five-terms as the mayor of one of America’s largest and best managed City’s, the City of Los Angeles.
A man of quiet determination, Bradley spent
a lifetime bridging racial barriers and used his skills to bring the City together and form coalitions. Tom Bradley made history as the
first African American mayor of a major U.S.
city with a white majority.
Earl "Skip" Cooper, II, shakes hands with Mayor Tom Bradley in 1996
He served as Mayor and Los Angeles prospered, he changed the city’s downtown skyline. Among his other legacies are the start of a subway and light-rail system.
Bradley also was a driving force to diversify the city’s workforce. He opened doors for minorities and women to not only serve on city commissions, with his leadership black men and women held more management positions.
Mayor Tom Bradley signed "Executive Directives" that created a Minority Business Enterprise Program and many more minority businesses won a share in the millions of dollars in city contracts. Tom Bradley positioned the City to take its place as an international trade center. He brought the city a glowing spot on the world's center stage with its smooth and lucrative hosting of the Olympic Games in the summer of 1984.
Bradley’s other legacies can be seen in institutions that bear his name, including the Tom Bradley
International Terminal Los Angeles International Airport. He worked and succeeded in reforming and bringing civilian control to the Los Angeles Police Department. He enjoyed being a popular Mayor during most of his historic fi ve-terms as the mayor of one of America’s largest and best-managed cities. In 1982, he was encouraged to run for governor of California and had a chance to make history again by becoming the first black in the nation to win a state's top office.
Mayor Bradley changed the political scene for black politicians and Los Angeles for the better. Mayor Tom Bradley left a lasting legacy of empowering people, achieving the “Impossible Dream” and managing the second largest city in the United States, the City of Angels.
He died on September 29, 1998, of a heart attack at the age of 80.
The Tom Bradley Legacy Foundation is housed at the Tom Bradley International Hall at UCLA. This
building includes a Tom Bradley Gallery controlled by the foundation. The gallery is the official home of
Mayor Tom Bradley's memorabilia and serves as an educational tool to preserve Tom Bradley's legacy. The primary objective of the foundation is the continuation of the legacy of Mayor Tom Bradley. "The Tom Bradley Legacy Foundation," a 501c (3) non-profit organization.
For more information on Tom Bradley visit, http://tombradleylegacy.org/ or http://mayortombradley.com/ biography or read his biography, Tom Bradley: The Impossible Dream.
Tom Bradley Legacy Foundation at UCLA