Gloria Molina Says She Has Terminal Cancer

Former Los Angeles County Supervisor and political icon Gloria Molina, 74, announced Tuesday that she is battling terminal cancer. Molina shared the news in an emotional Facebook post, reflecting on her incredible life and career in politics.

"You should know that I'm not sad," Molina wrote. "I enter this transition in life feeling so fortunate. I have an amazing and caring family, wonderful friends, and worked with committed colleagues and a loyal team. Throughout my life I've had the support of many people."

Molina began her political career in the 1970s as a Chicano movement activist. She became the first woman elected to the California Assembly in 1982. She then became the first Latina elected to the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, where she served for 23 years. 

Throughout her tenure, Molina remained a strong voice for women and Latinos. One of her many accomplishments was the creation of Grand Park between City Hall and the Music Center. Supervisor Hilda Solis, who holds Molina’s old seat on the board, plans to introduce a motion next week to rename the park after Molina.

"Seeing her break these glass ceilings inspired me," said Solis. "I remember dreaming of one day serving our community just as she did, with passion." 

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Antonia Hernandez called Molina “a trailblazer.”

"Gloria was one of the earliest women to open doors for a whole bunch of other Latina women — not only in L.A., but in California,” Hernandez added.

Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the phone call from Molina about her prognosis was hard to take.

“She’s like my big sister,” he told the Los Angeles Times’ Gustavo Arellano. “She was so strong. She told me she lived a great life.” 

You can read Molina’s full announcement here