Former Los Angeles city council member Tom LaBonge, 67, died in his Silverlake home on Thursday.
LaBonge’s wife Brigid said she attempted to wake him after he fell asleep on his couch, but he was unresponsive, according to an L.A. Times report.
In 2001, LaBonge filled the city council seat left vacant after councilman John Ferraro’s death, and served until his retirement in 2015.
“Our hearts are heavy with the passing of former Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge,” Mayor Eric Garcetti and council president Nury Martinez said in a joint statement. “In a city of 4 million Angelenos, Tom LaBonge was Mr. Los Angeles. He was a true public servant who was never afraid to roll up his sleeves or pull a City worker over if a constituent needed help or a street needed servicing at a moment’s notice. He knew every mascot of every high school in Los Angeles for a reason – so he could engage people and talk to them about their lives. As a councilmember, he took care of his constituents and was a champion of one of L.A.’s greatest treasures, Griffith Park. LaBonge loved Los Angeles and Los Angeles loved him right back. To quote Tom, he is forever an angel in the City of Angels. May God bless him, his wife, Brigid, and the entire family.”
Supervisor Janice Hahn, who served on the city council with LaBonge from 2001 to 2011, said on Twitter that “nobody loved this city more than Tom LaBonge and I don’t know if anyone ever will.”