Edward Cortez, 64; Elected First Latino Mayor of Pomona

From a Times Staff Writer

Pomona Mayor Edward Cortez, who was the city's first Latino mayor when elected in 1993, died Tuesday, the city announced. He was 64.

Cortez died of cancer at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.

A native of Mission, Texas, Cortez moved to Pomona in 1961 and later owned and operated a gas station. He served on the city's Planning Commission for several years before being elected mayor, presiding over Pomona's first Latino-majority City Council.

"He was honored to have the opportunity to serve the city he loved so much, and he served as mayor with great distinction," City Manager Douglas Dunlap said in a statement Tuesday.

Among his many community activities, Cortez was founding president of the Latino Chamber of Commerce and president of the Community Action for Peace Committee.

He is survived by his wife, Sally, eight children and 22 grandchildren.

Instead of flowers, donations may be made to the Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center Endowment at the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Monday at Pomona First Baptist Church, 586 N. Main St., Pomona.

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