Gloria Molina Obituary
May 31, 1948, to May 14, 2023

Gloria Molina, a trailblazing Chicana activist and former elected official, passed away peacefully at her home in Mt. Washington, surrounded by her family and close friends. She was 74 years old.

Gloria had been battling terminal cancer for three years, a fight that she faced with courage and resilience. She spent her last few weeks embraced by the love and support of her family, community, friends, and former colleagues. Gloria expressed deep gratitude for the life she lived and the opportunity to serve her community.

Gloria was a champion for social justice and dedicated her life to public service, fighting tirelessly for those who were underrepresented. Gloria will be remembered in history as the first Latina elected as California State Assemblymember, Los Angeles City Councilmember, and Los Angeles County Supervisor. She made a significant impact on Los Angeles, the state, county, and the nation over her 32-year career in elected office.

Throughout her life, Gloria served on myriad non-profit boards, including Comisión Femenil, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Southwest Voter and Registration Project, and the California Community Foundation. Gloria also served as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee for over a decade during the Clinton Administration and was a featured speaker at the national conventions throughout her career.

Gloria was committed to making public spaces for families and all Angelenos throughout the county. Earlier this year in recognition of her leadership and impact, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors renamed Grand Park after Gloria, a public space in the heart of downtown Los Angeles that Gloria fought to create. It is now Gloria Molina Grand Park.

Gloria was a talented artist who shared her passion for depicting her Mexican roots through beautiful quilts and by teaching others how to unlock their creativity through this artform through the establishment of The East LA Stitchers (TELAS). She was a passionate advocate for inclusion of the Latino experience in the arts by founding LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes and the Eastside Arts Initiative, and supporting community-based arts organizations, including Casa 0101 and Self-Help Graphics.

We welcome you to join us at a public Celebration of Life at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a special place created and envisioned by Gloria on July 15, 2023. Please visit the LA Plaza website for further information.

Gloria is survived by her husband Ron Martinez, daughter Valentina Martinez, son-in-law Brendan Curran, grandson Santiago, and loving family, including her nine siblings, Gracie, Irma, Domingo, Bertha, Mario, Sergio, Danny, Olga, and Lisa.

In lieu of flowers, Gloria’s family requests that donations be made to Casa 0101 and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in her memory to inspire and empower future generations through the arts.