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Between 1993 and 2001, Mayor Richard J. Riordan, a maverick multi-millionaire who championed pragmatism over divisive politics, pulled Los Angeles from the brink of collapse and turned around one of the world's most famous cities. Wildly popular today among Angelenos of all stripes, Riordan continues to be a major force in the political and civic worlds of L.A. Riordan, a non-ideological Republican who was pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and pro-immigration, was elected to office in the aftermath of the infamous Rodney King beating and subsequent 1992 L.A. Riots, which caused nearly $1 billion in property damage and took the lives of over 50 people. With ineffectual political leadership at City Hall, racial tensions were running high, the economy was in the tank, and the city's crime and homicide rates grew out of control during the crack cocaine epidemic.



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