Antonio Ramón Villaraigosa (pronounced /ˌviː.əraɪˈɡoʊsə/; born January 23, 1953), born Antonio Ramón Villar, Jr., is the 41st and current Mayor of Los Angeles, California, the third Mexican American to have ever held office in the city of Los Angeles and the first in over 130 years. He is also the current president of the United States Conference of Mayors. He was elected mayor on May 17, 2005, defeating incumbent mayor James Hahn, and then re-elected for a second term in 2009. Prior to his election as mayor, Villaraigosa was the California State Assemblyman for the 45th District, the Speaker of the California State Assembly, and the Los Angeles City Councilman representing the 14th District. Villaraigosa is unable to run for a third term in 2013 due to term limits.
Before being elected to public office, Villaraigosa was a labor organizer. Villaraigosa served as a national co-chairman of Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and as a member of President Barack Obama's Transition Economic Advisory Board.
Born Antonio Villar in the City Terrace neighborhood of Los Angeles County's Eastside, Villaraigosa attended both Catholic and public schools. His father abandoned the family when Villaraigosa was 5 years old. At the age of 16, a benign tumor in his spinal column briefly paralyzed him from the waist down, curtailing his ability to play sports. His grades plummeted at Cathedral High School. The next year, he was expelled from the Roman Catholic institution after getting into a fight after a football game. He graduated from Roosevelt High School, and, with the help of his English teacher Herman Katz, went on to attend East Los Angeles College. Villaraigosa eventually transferred to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), but he did not graduate by the time that he left in 1975. At UCLA, Villaraigosa was a leader of MEChA. At this time, he went by the name "Tony Villar" but began using his birth name, Antonio, in the 1980s.