Metro joined elected officials in a station dedication ceremony today for Ethel Bradley, the wife of Los Angeles’ first African American Mayor, Tom Bradley. Ethel Bradley was the longest-reigning first lady of Los Angeles, from 1973 to 1993. A memorial plaque has been installed at the Metro Expo Line Expo/La Brea Station, which will be officially renamed Expo/La Brea/Ethel Bradley Station per a motion by L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas, city of Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Member Eric Garcetti and Metro Board Member Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker.
Ethel Mae Arnold was born in Texas on Feb. 2, 1919 and moved to Los Angeles in 1930. At age 15, she graduated from Jefferson High School and attended Los Angeles City College for two years. In 1941, she married Tom Bradley, and the couple had two daughters: Lorraine and Phyllis. In 1973, Ethel Bradley became the first lady of Los Angeles, a position she held for the next twenty years.
“As Los Angeles’ first African-American First Lady, Ethel Bradley was true inspiration, serving with courage, perseverance and elegance,” LA County Supervisor and Metro Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “I am proud that we are honoring her legacy by dedicating this station in her name.”
“We honor Mayor Tom Bradley’s legacy of improving transportation in Los Angeles by dedicating the Expo/La Brea Station to the memory of his beloved wife, Ethel Bradley,” said Mayor Garcetti. “With her support, Mayor Bradley laid the foundation for the rail system we enjoy today — and that we continue to build on to expand options for tomorrow. Together, we can connect our communities and live up to the example that the Bradleys set for all of us.”
She and Mayor Bradley were the first occupants of Getty House, which she helped transform into the official mayoral residence. While her husband served as mayor, Ethel Bradley worked as a humanitarian who organized a women’s volunteer group called Las Angelenas and co-founded the Black Women’s Forum, a non-profit group dedicated to motivating and encouraging black women to gain social, educational and economic empowerment.
Ethel Bradley’s style and elegance elevated the image of Los Angeles worldwide as the city showcased the achievements of the 20th century as a leader in technology, arts, unity of diverse peoples and the staging of the 1984 Olympics. She was a civic leader who served the city of Los Angeles with dignity, grace and class. She died at the age of 89 and is remembered by her friends, family and her city.[youtube //www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzh4i851fKQ&feature=youtu.be]
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