The late Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge was inducted into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Court of Honor on April 14, joining Pope John Paul II, legendary sports figures and civic leaders.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission Chief Administrative Officer Al Naipo hosted the induction ceremony, which included tributes from friends and colleagues such as Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who served for 10 years with LaBonge on the L.A. City Council. Former Los Angeles Raiders players Mike Haynes and Shelby Jordan also paid tribute to LaBonge, their longtime friend.
A bronze plaque honoring LaBonge was unveiled in an archway underneath the Olympic Torch, which was lit for the ceremony. The plaque is on the same pillar as the Pope and across from former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.
LaBonge’s widow Brigid thanked the large crowd that attended and called it one of his biggest honors.
“He would have never expected something like this, and he would have been so proud,” she said. “I get teary-eyed because this is such an honor.”
LaBonge, who represented the City Council’s 4th district from 2001-15, died at the age of 67 on Jan. 7, 2021.
“This plaque will be a fitting tribute to my friend, a man who embodied his nickname, ‘Mr. Los Angeles,’” Hahn added. “Tom loved this city and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and by inducting him into the Court of Honor, we can show just how much we loved him back.”
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