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Mayor Tom Bradley and wife Ethel Bradley
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection;
Curtis, Rolland J
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Date Created and/or Issued
Circa 1965
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Rolland Joseph 'Speedy' Curtis was born in Louisiana in 1922. After serving three years in the Marines during World War II, he and his wife, Gloria, relocated from New Orleans to Los Angeles in 1946. Curtis served four years with the Los Angeles Police Department, but resigned from the force in order to pursue both a Bachelor's and Master's degree from USC. He later became involved in city politics, as an associate of Sam Yorty, and later a field deputy to City Council members Billy Mills and Tom Bradley. He was briefly director of the Model Cities program in 1973. Rolland J. Curtis died in his home in 1979, the victim of a homicide. An affordable housing complex on Exposition Blvd. near Vermont Ave. was named in his honor in 1981, along with a nearby street and park.; Thomas J. "Tom" Bradley (1917-1998) was a popular Los Angeles mayor that served in office from 1973-1993. Bradley's five-term tenure (20 years), marked the longest tenure by any mayor in Los Angeles city's history - surpassing Fletcher Bowron (15 years in office). Bradley's career started in 1940 when he joined the Los Angeles Police Department where in a short period of time, he reached the rank of lieutenant - the highest rank held by an African American police officer at the time. While working on the force, Bradley attended night school at Southwestern University School of Law, and in 1956 he passed his bar exam and received his law degree. From 1963-1972 Bradley served on the Los Angeles City Council - 10th District, and while in office, challenged incumbent mayor Sam Yorty for the 1969 mayoral seat, which he lost. He again ran in 1973, and this time successfully unseated Yorty to become the 38th Mayor of Los Angeles. Nine years after his mayoral win, in 1982 and again in 1986, Bradley ran for Governor of California, but was defeated both times by Republican George Deukmejian. During his record-breaking tenure, Mayor Bradley hosted the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, was a driving force behind construction of the Los Angeles' light rail network, pushed for the expansion of Los Angeles International Airport and the development of the terminals in use today, and was elected for a fifth mayoral term in 1989. He chose to leave office in 1993, rather than seek election to a sixth term. In 1996 Bradley suffered a heart attack and underwent triple bypass surgery; the following day he suffered a stroke which left him unable to speak clearly for the rest of his life, and his condition limited his public appearances. Sadly, in 1998 at the age of 80, Tom Bradley suffered a fatal heart attack while at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. He is interred in Inglewood Park Cemetery. Mayor Bradley was the first - and to date the only - African American mayor of this city.
Pictured is City Councilman Tom Bradley and wife Ethel Bradley posing for a picture in Councilman Bradley's office at City Hall. Bradley sits at his desk as his wife stands beside him, to the left, with her arm stretched across the back of his seat. Photograph circa 1965. See image 00119470 for additional photo in this series.
1 negative : safety ; 10 x 13 cm.
Photographic safety negatives
Rolland J. Curtis Collection
Bradley, Tom,--1917-1998
Bradley, Tom,--1917-1998--Family
Los Angeles City Hall (Los Angeles, Calif.)
City council members
African American politicians
African American men
African American women
Husband and wife
City halls
Office furniture
Flags--United States
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Time Period

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