Today in Legal History: Tom Bradley Elected First African American Mayor of Los Angeles

On May 29, 1973, Thomas Bradley became the first African American mayor of Los Angeles. Bradley had served in the Los Angeles police department for over 20 years, and earned his law degree from Southwestern Law School. In 1963, he was elected to the Los Angeles City Council, being one of the first African Americans to serve on the City Council. In the 1960s, America was divided by race, social issues, and politics. In the midst of these tensions Bradley decided to run for mayor in 1963. He was defeated by Sam Yorty. Bradley ran again in 1973 and this time he won becoming the first black mayor of Los Angeles.

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