Thomas J. “Tom” Bradley (December 29, 1917 – September 29, 1998) was the 38th Mayor of Los Angeles….serving from 1973 to 1993….as he was the only African-American mayor of that city….and his 20 years in office mark the longest tenure by any mayor in the city’s history. His 1973 election made him the second African-American mayor of a major U.S. city. Bradley retired in 1993….after his approval ratings began dropping subsequent to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Bradley unsuccessfully ran for Governor of California in 1982 and 1986….and was defeated each time by the Republican George Deukmejian. The racial dynamics that appeared to underlie his narrow and unexpected loss in 1982 gave rise to the political term “the Bradley effect.”
Tom Bradley was the Mayor of Los Angeles during the 1984 Summer Olympics….and as Bone Daddy so aptly puts it…..the City of Los Angeles never looked better, cleaner and more inviting….than it did for the Olympics…..and as BD says….”somehow L A Mayor Tom Bradley got all the freeway drivers to stay off the freeways during the Games”….now that comes from a guy and his two Olympic Games traveling partners….Sky Pilot and Prince of Pleasure….who put 2700 miles on their rent car while travelling all over the Los Angeles freeways in their quest to see a live event in every sport (26 total) in the XXIII Olympiad.
In 1985, he was awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.