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KTLA News Project: Tom Bradley, Mayor of Los Angeles

The KTLA Newsfilm Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive represents an invaluable resource for researchers interested in Los Angeles history. Actively utilized for decades by both scholars and documentarians, the full potential of this resource has yet to be realized due to the challenges inherent in providing viewing access to the untransferred, original 16mm reversal film elements that comprise the collection. Further complicating access, the KTLA collection arrived at UCLA with little-to-no documentation regarding the subjects of these film reels. As a result, significant segments of the collection remain uncataloged and thus undiscoverable by scholars. This rare material includes previously hidden, and now digitally preserved and cataloged KTLA news stories featuring the esteemed Mayor of Los Angeles, Thomas (Tom) J. Bradley. Much of this footage has not been seen since its original broadcast.

The grandson of an enslaved person and the son of sharecroppers, former Los Angeles Police Department lieutenant and L.A. City Councilman Tom Bradley rose to prominence upon being elected Mayor of Los Angeles in 1973 as the city's first, and as of 2018, only African American mayor. As the news footage presented here illuminates, during his historic 20-year tenure from 1973 to 1993, Mayor Bradley became an important local and national statesman, known for successfully helming Los Angeles through a period of both unprecedented growth and serious socio-economic challenges. A towering figure in the history of Los Angeles, the city’s longest-tenured Mayor remains an essential research topic when considering the past, present and future of L.A.

Read our commissioned essay on Mayor Bradley. Visit the UCLA KTLA News Project to access additional local and national news stories.

Made possible by a grant from The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation.