Congresswoman Karen Bass remembers civil activist Lillian Mobley

South Los Angeles activist Lillian Mobley, who advocated for better education, transportation, healthcare and other public services for the community, has died. She was 81.

Her son Kenneth Mobley says his mother died Monday at Centinela Medical Center in Los Angeles from natural causes.

Mobley was part of a group that spearheaded the fight to bring a hospital to South Los Angeles residents after the 1965 Watts riot. The result was Martin Luther King Hospital, later known as Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center.

Her son says Mobley also was instrumental in the opening of the Charles Drew Medical School, which opened doors for African-Americans and other minorities to train in the health care field.

Congresswoman Karen Bass, whose district stretches from Griffith Park to South L.A., remembers when she first met Mobley.

“If there was a matriarch or mother of Los Angeles activism, Lillian Mobley was certainly one of those Los Angeles mothers. And I think of her and Mary Henry and the work that they did together — you know going back as far as the 60s — especially and most notably in the establishment of Martin Luther King Hospital,” she told KPCC.

Funeral services will be held July 29 at Ward AME Church in Los Angeles.

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