ROSA L. BROADOUS & HILLERY T. BROADOUS

Hillery Broadous and his wife Rosa helped organize the San Fernando Valley branch of the NAACP as well as lobbying for $60,000 to develop Filmore Park later named Hubert Humphry Park. They went on to having a total of 11 children, six of whom went into the ministry. He founded Calvary Baptist Church in Pacoima and served the community faithfully.

 

The city of Los Angeles gave tribute to the numerous contributions of Rev Broadous by renaming Filmore Elementary after him. The Community center on Glenoaks Blvd is named after Alicia Broadous. The Broadous name is embedded in Pacoima history and the countless contributions made by Rev Broadous and his family.

Dr. SANBO SAKAGUCHI Dr. MARY SAKAGUCHI ODA

Dr. Sanbo Sakaguchi and his sister Dr. Mary Oda rose above their horrific experience at Manzanar internment camp to become pillars of the community and are highlighted on the Pacoima mile mural. They practiced medicine for over 50 years and supported a wide range of activities for youth. Both doctors provided care to people of all colors when some hospitals did not allow them to receive medical services. In 1950 they settled in the Pacoima and shortly thereafter founded Serra Memorial Hospital where they accepted patients of all colors. The meeting hall at the San Fernando Valley Japanese American community Center has been named the Dr. Sanbo Sakaguchi Hall.

ANDRA’E CROUCH

Andra’e Crouch's career was perhaps the most phenomenal of all successes in Pacoima. Grammy award winning Andra’e bridged the gap between gospel and mainstream music working with major stars such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Quincy Jones. His eight grammy's were instrumental in the merging of pop, contemporary gospel and soul. 

 

His father Benjamin began holding religious services at their family's Pacoima home in 1951 and later founded the New Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ. The church grew to have a tremendous following and still operates today.   Andra'e passed away in 2015 leaving a legacy for Pacoima of success and pride.

TATAVIAM WARRIOR

The Tataviams are the oldest known inhabitants of Pacoima and are the origins of the name Pacoima, derived from Pacoinga Village, which means la entrada (the entrance).  They came to the area in 450 AD and lived a peaceful life. The name Tataviam means "people facing the sun."

 

Tataviams flourish in the Pacoima area until the Spanish-European invasion when the tribe was forced to live at Mission de San Fernando in 1797. Many members of the tribe succumbed to death at the mission from both disease and murder. The tribe remained imprisoned until 1834 when Mexico secularized the missions and the Tataviams were freed.  A few Tataviam decedents still live in Pacoima. 

BOBBY CHACON

Born in Pacoima, Bobby Chacon graduated from San Fernando High School and turned professional in 1972 while a student at California State University, Northridge, leading to the nickname "Schoolboy". He won his first 19 fights and in 1974, Chacon won the vacant WBC Featherweight title. He is included on The Ring's list of "The 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time" and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in January 2005.

He passed away in 2016 after suffering injuries from the many blows he endured during his boxing career. Bobby Chacon is still an idolized figure in the Pacoima community. 

CHARLES WHITE

Charles White is a track and football star from San Fernando High School class of 76, where his speed and agility drew early attention. He won the 330 low hurdles at the CIF California State Meet over the future gold medalist Andre Philips and won back to back city football championships as running back for the San Fernando Tigers..

 

White played college football for the University of Southern California, where he was an All-American and the winner of the 1979 Heisman Trophy. He was a first-round pick (27th overall) in the 1980 NFL Draft and went on to  play professionally for the Cleveland Browns and the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. In 1987 he led the NFL in rushing and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

 

ED KUSSMAN

Ed Kussman was a community activist that was President of the NAACP and helped facelift the Boys Club on Van Nuys Blvd. He also helped with housing issues, child care centers and he worked with the Pacoima Skill Center in the late 60’s and through the 70’s.

His work on the Boys Club was premised on giving Pacoima boys a place they were proud to go to. He worked on hypertension in Black males as well as improving housing so the community will have more pride in the area they live. Kussman moved from Compton to Pacoima where he bought 2.5 acres in 1951 and built his home and spearheaded housing discrimination issues in the San Fernando Valley.

MARY HELEN PONCE

Mary Helen Ponce, author of the book Hoyt Street that describes her childhood and growing up in Pacoima California. It vividly describes Pacoima in the 40’s and growing up Mexican American.  It is a must read in understanding the evolution of the Mexican culture in America and the development of early Pacoima.

Her story gives a glimpse of early Pacoima from the lens of a Mexican American girl and describes the culture as the norm versus a sociological phenomenon.  Besides Hoyt Street, she authored two other books and has a PHD in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Hoyt Street was the first of many to come about diverse cultures in Pacoima.

RITCHIE VALENS

Ritchie Valens was born Richard Steven Valenzuela in Pacoima, and has become Pacoima’s most celebrated icon. Ritchie grew up on Filmore Street and by the age of 17 he rose to the national stage with hits such as La Bamba, Donna and “Let’s go.” Paramount Studios released a film on his life titled "La Bamba."   He tragically died in 1959 in a plane crash.

 

The Los Angeles City Council declared May 13, 2016 as Ritchie Valens Day. He is also getting a portion of Interstate 5 named after him as his popularity continues to grow in Pacoima. His music inspired and influenced a generation of Chicano artists in our community and people of many cultures throughout the world.

ED & CAROLYN ROSE

Ed Rose is founder of the Pacoima-based organization Meet Each Need with Dignity, better known as MEND. More than 40 years ago, he and his wife Carolyn designed the non-profit company to help with poverty and basic human needs.  MEND has grown into one of the largest non-profit organizations in the valley serving more than 30,000 people a month with services from food to healthcare.

Rose says as a young adult he saw the unfair treatment bestowed to people of color and sought to make change and help when he began this mission.  Ed Rose is one of 17 national recipients to receive the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Public Service.

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