Tom Bradley was the 38th Mayor of Los Angeles from 1973 to 1993. He is the first and, so far, the only African American mayor of Los Angeles.
He was in office for 20 years, before term limits passed by California voters in 1990 came into effect in a voter-approved statewide referendum, which makes his term the longest in the City’s history.
Bradley also unsuccessfully ran for Governor of California in 1982 and 1986, but was defeated on both occasions by Republican George Deukmejian. His narrow and unexpected loss in 1982 gave rise to the political term “The Bradley Effect”, in reference to racialism.
He was responsible for the subway system, developed and built through the 1980s that stretches from North Hollywood to Union Station and connects to light rail lines that extend to the neighboring cities of Long Beach, Norwalk, and Pasadena, among others.
In his memory, Tom Bradley also has a terminal dedicated to him at Los Angeles Airport (LAX) called the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The terminal has 12 gates. Six are on the north concourse, and six on the south concourse. There are in addition nine satellite gates for international flights located on the west side of the airport. It hosts 27 airlines, and handles approximately 10 million passengers per year.
Thomas J. “Tom” Bradley was born on December 29, 1917, in Calvert, Texas. He died on September 29, 1998 (aged 80) in Los Angeles.