Los Angeles Mayor

By Levi Clancy for לוי on

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The Mayor is the administrator of the City, and supervises the City's departments and proposes the annual budget.

The Mayor is also the liaison with foreign consulates. The City Charter mandates a division of power between the City Council and the Mayor. The Council's approval is needed for the Mayor's budget, and the Mayor's appointments for staff, commissioners and department heads. However, ordinances passed by the Council are subject to the Mayor's veto or approval.

List of Los Angeles Mayors

Of the 36 mayors who have served Los Angeles, 31 held office in the first 76 years -- almost half of them serving one--year terms. The turnover was slowed down in 1926 when a four-year term provision was adopted.

A William Stephens served only for a few days in 1909. John Bryson had served only 4 months when he was legislated out of service by the adoption of a new city charter.

By 1926 the four-year mayoral term was established and Los Angeles was in a period of incredible growth.

Alpheus P HodgesStart 1850 Jul 01
Until 1851 May 07
Alpheus P Hodges served as the first mayor, and the first County Coroner. He was also the first and last to serve in both capacities simultaneously. The year was 1850 and the mayor's constituency totaled 1,610 when he took office. With Hodges' installation, concurrent with California's admission into the Union, our 64 years of official Pueblo status was ended. What began as an encampment of 11 Spanish, Negro and Mestizo families was now an incorporated American city.
Benjamin D WilsonStart 1851 May 07
Until 1852 May 04
The first LA Police Force was organized by the second mayor, Benjamin D Wilson. Mount Wilson is named after him.
John G NicholsStart 1852 May 04
Until 1853 May 03
Antonio F CoronelStart 1853 May 03
Until 1854 May 04
Stephen C FosterStart 1854 May 04
Until 1854 Jan 13
A few years alter, in a period marked by waves of crimes and hangings, Mayor Stephen Foster showed his law-and-order support by resigning briefly to head a lynch mob in pursuit of desperadoes.
Start 1855 Jan 13
Until 1855 Jan 25
No mayor.
Stephen C FosterStart 1855 Jan 25
Until 1855 May 09
Thomas C FosterStart 1855 May 09
Until 1856 May 07
Stephen C FosterStart 1856 May 07
Until 1856 Sep 22
(Second term)
John G NicholsStart 1856 Oct 04
Until 1859 May 09 (Second term)
Damien MarchessaultStart 1859 May 09
Until 1860 May 09
Henry MellusStart 1860 May 09
Until 1860 Dec 27
Start 1860 Dec 27
Until 1860 Dec 27
Wallace Woodworth was the Council President and served as the Acting Mayor.
Damien MarchessaultStart 1861 Jan 07
Until 1865 May 06
(Second term)
At the start of the Civil War, Damien Marchessault was mayor of a population which had just voted approval of the separation of Northern and Southern California. Because of the war and interference from Washington DC, Los Angeles did not become the Capitol of the State of Southern California. The street hugging the Plaza's north side was named for him; in 1902 it was renamed Sunset Boulevard.
Jose MascarelStart 1865 May 05
Until 1866 May 10
Jose Mascarel was a devout Unionist in a city with strong secessionist sentiments. Mascarel, holding firm, helped to lead a fight which defeated the opposition. We may also be grateful that during his term that there were no takers when MacArthur Park grounds were offered for public sale at 25 cents an acre.
Cristobal AguilarStart 1866 May 10
Until 1868 Dec 07
Joel H TurnerStart 1868 Dec 09
Until 1870 Dec 09
Mayor Joel H Turner served a population of 5,614 in 1870, served by 110 saloons. However, orchards were springing up faster than saloons. A count at the time showed 34,000 fruit and nut trees in the Los Angeles area.
Cristobal AguilarStart 1870 Dec 09
Until 1872 Dec 05
(Second term)
Los Angeles had eleven mayors by 1872 and in spite of their whirlwind tours of ffice, the progress was remarkable.

Consider the results of 22 years: a police force, fire department, Board of Education, City Gas Company, Department of Public Works, enlarged water and telegraph facilities, Library Association, City High School, grammar schools, private schools, churches, infirmaries, major hotel, bank, theaters, English and Spanish newspapers and Agricultural Fair. Expansion did not end there.

James R TobermanStart 1872 Dec 05
Until 1874 Dec 18
James R Toberman served two non-consecutive terms. He administered most of a ten year period of continuing firsts. These included the establishment of the Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Herald newspaper, Athletic Club, and the first Synagogue. Toberman also left a surplus of $25,000 in the city treasury.
Prudent BeaudryStart 1874 Dec 18
Until 1876 Dec 08
Mayor Prudent Beaudry, after whom an avenue is named, became an eponym by paving streets, planting trees, pioneering welfare work, establishing hospitals, expanding the water system, and planning hilltop reservoirs, making hilltop residence possible.
Frederick A MacDougallStart 1876 Dec 08
Until 1878 Nov 16
The first Chief of Police was appointed during the term of Frederick A MacDougall.
Bernard CohnStart 1878 Nov 21
Until 1878 Dec 05
James R TobermanStart 1878 Dec 05
Until 1882 Dec 09
(Second term)
Cameron E ThomStart 1882 Dec 09
Until 1884 Dec 09
Edward F SpenceStart 1884 Dec 09
Until 1886 Dec 14
Edward F Spence was mayor when the first full trainload of oranges was shipped from California to the east. In exchange, easterners arrived on the first Santa Fe train to LA. Exporting oranges and importing population led to our most fantastic real-estate boom that year of 1886.
William H WorkmanStart 1886 Dec 14
Until 1888 Dec 10
John BrysonStart 1888 Dec 10
Until 1889 Feb 25
Henry T HazardStart 1889 Feb 25
Until 1892 Dec 05
Los Angeles discovered oil within the city during the 1889-92 term of Henry T Hazard.
Start 1892 Dec 05
Until 1892 Dec 12
William H Bonsall was Council President and served as Acting Mayor.
Thomas E RowanStart 1892 Dec 12
Until 1894 Dec 12
Frank RaderStart 1894 Dec 12
Until 1896 Dec 16
Frank Rader was mayor when a harbor imporvement fight ended with the assignment of federal funds to the development of San Pedro, rather than Santa Monica, as the area's major port. Colonel Griffith J Griffith provided compensation, by making a Christmas gift to the city of 3,500 acres for a park.
Meredith P SnyderStart 1896 Dec 16
Until 1898 Dec 15
With the port not coming to Los Angeles, Los Angeles had to come to the port. Mayor Meredith P Snyder helped initiate an eventually successful movement to acquire a shoestring strip connected us to San Pedro and Wilmington, consolidating the two within Los Angeles.
Fred EatonStart 1898 Dec 15
Until 1900 Dec 12
At the turn of the cntury, Fred Eaton was the first local boy to become mayor. The population was 100,000 with 200 automobiles.
Meredith P SnyderStart 1900 Dec 12
Until 1904 Dec 08
(Second term)
Owen C MacAleerStart 1904 Dec 08
Until 1906 Dec 13
Arthur C HarperStart 1906 Dec 13
Until 1909 Mar 11
William D StephensStart 1909 Mar 15
Until 1909 Mar 26
Served only eleven days.
George AlexanderStart 1909 Mar 26
Until 1913 Jul
Henry H RoseStart 1913 Jul
Until 1915 Jul
Charles E SebastianStart 1915 Jul
Until 1916 Sep 02
Frederick T WoodmanStart 1916 Sep 05
Until 1919 Jul
Meredith P SnyderStart 1919 Jul
Until 1921 Jul
(Third term)
George E CryerStart 1921 Jul
Until 1929 Jul
Mayor George Cryer, a former lawyer and police officer, presided at the new City Hall. Built or under constructin were the Olympic Auditorium, the Coliseum, branch City Halls, community libraries and the new fire and police stations. Airmail and passenger ervice between New York and California had begun.
John C PorterStart 1929 Jul
Until 1933 Jul
Frank L ShawStart 1933 Jul
Until 1938 Sep 26
In Frank Shaw's term, the City Employees Retirement System was inaugurated. Shaw retired after scandals led to his recall.
Fletcher BowronStart 1938 Sep 26
Until 1953 Jun 30
Fletcher Bowron served Los Angeles for an unprecedented fifteen years -- a progressive, judicious administration marred only by the advenut of smog as a major issue.
Norris PoulsonStart 1953 Jul 01
Until 1961 Jun 30
In Norris Poulson's term, Los Angeles became the third largest city in the nation.
Sam YortyStart 1961 Jul 01
Until 1973 Jun 30
Samuel William Yorty ran for mayor at the start of the turbulent sixties. In an era marked by the flowering of both the civil-rights movement and computer-government, the burning issue was trash. The first mayor from the suburbs, he served three terms. An ardent raveler, he inaugurated a globe circling Sister Cities program to bring more commerce to the Los Angeles Harbor.
Tom BradleyStart 1973 Jul 01
Until 1993 Jun 30
Tom Bradley served an unprecedented five terms as the 37th Mayor of the City of Los Angeles. He was a former police officer, attorney and City Councilmember. His inauguration to a third term took place 200 years year after the founding of Los Angeles. He was the backbone in bringing the 1984 Summer Olympic Games to the City -- the most successful Olympiad in the history of the quadrennial international sports competition.
Richard J RiordanStart 1993 Jul 01
Until 2001 Jun 30
Richard J Riordan became the 28th Mayor of Los Angeles in July 1991. He spearheaded a "Tough Enough to Turn LA Around" campaign. He is committed to renewing and rebuilding Los Angeles. His determination to truly develop the potential of the nation's largest multi-cultural community will benefit Los Angeles well into the 21st century.
James K HahnStart 2001 Jul 01
Until 2005 Jun 30
Antonio VillaraigosaStart 2005 Jul 01