Former city councilman known as ‘Mr Los Angeles’ dies at 67
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, a tireless promoter of the nation’s second-largest city, died unexpectedly at age 67.
Known as “Mr. Los Angeles,” LaBonge died Thursday.
His wife, Brigid, told the Los Angeles Times that LaBonge had been resting on a couch at home and she was unable to wake him.
“No one knew more Angelenos, no person gave more waking hours to our city, no one was a greater cheerleader for our town than Tom,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, a former City Council colleague of LaBonge.
An outsized, upbeat personality who always seemed to be shaking hands, waving and smiling, LaBonge got his start in local politics in the 1970s and served on the council from 2001 to 2015.
Another former colleague, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, directed the Olympic torch at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to be lit in honor of LaBonge.
Hahn said LaBonge’s idea of being a councilman was driving around in a truck and personally picking up bulky items from constituents.
“I remember him jumping aboard tour buses and taking over for the tour guides. He asked everyone he met where they went to high school and could name the mascot for every school in LA,” Hahn said.