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Thomas Francis Ford (February 18, 1873 – December 26, 1958) of California was a member of the U.S. Congress, an editor, a specialist in international trade and the only person ever sent to the Los Angeles City Council by a write-in vote.
Ford was born on February 18, 1873, in Saint Louis, Missouri, the son of Thomas Ford and Ellen Ferris. He went to public and private schools in Saint Louis and in Toledo, Ohio, and studied law in that city. He was with the U.S. Post Office Department after 1896 and then moved westward in 1900 to work on newspapers in Idaho and Washington, before arriving in Los Angeles in 1904. Thomas Francis Ford married Martha Alison McCracken on 22 October 1901 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Martha died 5 February 1905 in Toledo, Lucas, Ohio. Cole traveled extensively in Europe between 1909 and 1913, where he wrote newspaper feature articles on foreign trade. On June 21, 1911, he was married in Los Angeles to Lillian Cope Cummings, with whom he wrote a book, The Foreign Trade of the United States, published in 1920. Between 1913 and 1918 he was the West Coast correspondent for the Washington Post, and on January 1, 1919, he became the literary editor of the Los Angeles Times, where he also edited the rotogravure section. He was a lecturer on international trade at the University of Southern California in 1920–21. In the 1930s he was living at 940 North Benton Way, Los Angeles.
He ran for the 12th District seat in 1931, and, "supported by friends and supporters of the late incumbent" councilman Thomas W. Williams in that district, he was nominated by a write-in vote in the primary. He beat Douglas E. Foster in the final election by 8,315 votes to 5,882. At that time, the district covered Bunker Hill and northwest Downtown. The east boundary was at Figueroa Street and the south boundary at Pico Boulevard.
HIghlights of his two years as a councilman included:
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Ford, a Democrat, served in the U.S. Congress 1933–45 and was not a candidate for renomination in 1944.
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|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 14th congressional district
Helen G. Douglas
Thomas W. Williams
| Los Angeles City Council
James T. Carroll