Dignitaries, including Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, took part in a special mass celebrating the life of Former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan on Friday.
They came together to honor the city leader at a memorial mass held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Downtown L.A.
Richard Riordan was a wealthy businessman who decided to run for mayor during a difficult period following Rodney King’s death and the L.A riots and shortly before the devastating Northridge earthquake.
He took office in 1993 and held it for the next eight years.
“Doing the daily work of City Hall and especially during some of our city’s most trying times, Mayor Riordan acted with impatience,” said current L.A. Mayor Karen Bass. “That is not to say he acted without compassion. No, Mayor Riordan acted with a healthy and heartfelt impatience because he felt that the people of Los Angeles deserved swift decisions and urgent action to confront their greatest challenges.”
Riordan was known as a unifying force during his time in office. As a moderate, he would become the first Republican mayor of Los Angeles in decades, and also the last in what is now a Democratic city.
“It was his leadership that led to the rebuilding of the 10 Freeway in record time after the Northridge earthquake,” said Bass. “His impatience got the president on the phone, construction companies to accelerate timelines and the state to remove barriers. There is much to learn and emulate from his time as mayor.”
“He cared for the poor. He worked to make a difference,” said Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson from the St. Monica Catholic Church. “He loved Los Angeles and worked hard, especially for those who had less. That was his great gift.”
Richard Riordan died on April 19 at his home in Brentwood, surrounded by family. He was 92 years old.