My profile of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in TIME.
When he was a young man Antonio Villaraigosa, dropped out of school, was in numerous street fights, and had a tattoo inked on his right arm that read: Born to Raise Hell. In 2005 he became the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since 1872. It was practically scripted: the inspirational tale of a troubled boy from the gang-infested Boyle Heights neighborhood of East LA who makes good, goes to City Hall, and turns Los Angeles into a “city of purpose.”
But, until last week, the mayoral tale of Antonio Villaraigosa was starting to look like a box office bomb. In 2007 came revelations of an extramarital affair with a Telemundo newscaster, which seriously hurt his popularity, particularly in the Latino community. His ambitious but ultimately misguided plan for a school district takeover was defeated in court. A weakening economy and his unsystematic management style led to even more political stasis…
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