Pallbearers escort the casket of former California Lt. Gov. Mervyn Dymally at his funeral at Holy Cross Mortuary, Oct. 17, 2012.
Funeral services were held Wednesday in Culver City for Mervyn M. Dymally, the "Godfather of African-American politics." He died last week at the age of 86.
California's only black lieutenant governor served during Gov. Jerry Brown's first term, and he was credited by many as helping to build an indpendent African-American power base in the state.
The Trinidad-born teacher advanced swiftly in American politics after he became a citizen in the 1950s. He first served as an Assemblyman, winning election in 1962.
Kenneth Orduna, Dymally's longtime chief political operative, recalled his friend as a simple man.
"Of all his accomplishments and positions he held, the chairman was a humble man and on the inside a country boy from Trinidad," Orduna said. "He had a burning desire to help people no matter what their station in life may have been. The chairman 's life was about doing the people's business."