|Thomas J. "Tom" Bradley (December 29, 1917 – September 29, 1998) was the 38th Mayor of Los Angeles, serving from 1973 to 1993. He was the only African-American mayor of that city, and his 20 years in office mark the longest tenure by any mayor in the city's history. His 1973 election made him the second African-American mayor of a major U.S. city. Bradley retired in 1993, after his approval ratings began dropping subsequent to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Bradley unsuccessfully ran for Governor of California in 1982 and 1986 and was defeated each time by the Republican George Deukmejian. The racial dynamics that appeared to underlie his narrow and unexpected loss in 1982 gave rise to the political term "the Bradley effect." In 1985, he was awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.
Bradley, the grandson of a slave, was born on December 29, 1917, to Lee Thomas and Crenner Bradley, poor sharecroppers who lived in a small log cabin outside Calvert, Texas. He had four siblings — Lawrence, Willa Mae, Ellis (who had cerebral palsy) and Howard. The family moved to Arizona to pick cotton and then in 1924 to the Temple-Alvarado area of Los Angeles, where Lee was a Santa Fe Railroad porter and Crenner was a maid.