GRIFFITH PARK—The Mount Hollywood summit located above the Griffith Observatory was recently re-named in remembrance of Los Angeles Councilmember Tom LaBonge who passed away on Thursday, January 7 at the age of 67.
Known as “Mr. Los Angeles” by his colleagues, LaBonge worked at Los Angeles private sector since 1947 and served on the city council representing the 4th district from 2001-2015, according to his obituary.
Several Los Angeles public officials spoke on his impact of more than 40 years of public service including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who said on social media “Our city lost a giant, a leader who brought so much energy, enthusiasm, decency, and passion to the task of building a stronger, safer, fairer city. Tom held such genuine affection for everyone he met and served, and he loved the beauty, diversity, and dynamism of Los Angeles – and there’s no better way to remember, honor, and cherish him than to forever attach his name to his beloved Griffith Park, our crown jewel.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn wrote: “He was and will always be Mr. Los Angeles.”
Thomas Joseph LaBonge was born on October 6, 1953 in Silver Lake and was one of eight children. He attended Cal State Los Angeles and worked for the offices of Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson, Council President John Ferraro, Mayor Richard Riordan, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and later for the city council, as noted in his obituary. His achievements during his time in office, included creating the Fallen Firefighter memorial in Hollywood, the expansion and restoration of Griffith Park, and took a deep interest in trash pick-up throughout the city. He passed away in in his residence of Silver Lake and the cause of his death reported to be from cardiac arrest.
He is survived by his wife, Brigid, daughter Mary-Cate, his son Charles, and brothers Dennis, Tim, Mark, and Bob and several cousins.
To make a donation in his honor, go to Tom LaBonge Memorial Fund for Griffith Park through the L.A. Parks Foundation website.