Tom LaBonge, former LA councilman and longtime fixture on local political scene, dies at 67

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Tom LaBonge, a former Los Angeles city councilman and longtime fixture on the local political scene, has died at 67, Eyewitness News has learned.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was called to his home, and the cause of death is reported to be cardiac arrest. Further details were not immediately available.

LaBonge, known as Mr. Los Angeles, represented the Fourth District and served from 2001-2015. He was a city employee or councilman for nearly 40 years.

He was known for his outsized personality, reflected in his deep knowledge of high school football teams, penchant for big hugs and love of classic city institutions such as Pink's Hot Dogs along with his hands-on approach to serving constituents. LaBonge retired from public service in 2015.

"In a City of 4 million, Tom LaBonge was Mr. Los Angeles. As a Councilmember, he took care of his constituents and was a champion for one of LA's greatest treasures, Griffith Park," L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez tweeted. "Tom LaBonge loved Los Angeles and Los Angeles loved him right back. Our hearts are heavy tonight."

City News Service contributed to this report.
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