Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan, who led the city through some of its most challenging times of the late 20th century, has died at the age of 92.
The city’s last Republican mayor, Riordan was elected in 1993 and served until 2001. He is credited with helping L.A. rebound from the 1992 Rodney King riots and managing the immediate response and recovery from the devastating 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake.
As a political moderate, Riordan emerged as a civil and political donor after making a fortune as an investment banker and became a candidate for mayor of L.A. at the age of 62.
“Mayor Richard Riordan loved Los Angeles, and devoted so much of himself to bettering our City,” L.A. Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement. “In the wake of the Northridge earthquake, Mayor Riordan set the standard for emergency action – he reassured us and delivered a response with an intensity that still pushes us all to be faster and stronger amidst crisis.”
City Council President Paul Krekorian noted that Riordan’s legacy is entrenched in the resurgence of downtown Los Angeles.
“He drove the long-delayed completion of Disney Concert Hall, presided over the restoration of City Hall, and rebuilt a library system that had been ravaged by budget cuts and the catastrophic Central Library fire,” Krekorian said. “Richard Riordan led a momentous life, and left an indelible mark on our city.”
L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore also extended condolences.
“Mayor Riordan loved Los Angeles & believed in the men & women of LAPD. His Public Safety Initiative rebuilt the Department with critical staffing & technology. May God welcome him home,” Moore said.
Riordan reportedly died just after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday while he was surrounded by family, friends, caregivers, and his beloved dogs.
He is survived by his wife, three children, three grandchildren and his sister.