Tuesday, January 31, 2023
The matriarch of L.A.’s political dynasty succumbs
By Jason Lewis (Sports Editor)
Published July 23, 2011

Ramona Hahn with her husband of almost 50 years, the late Supervisor Kenneth Hahn.

For over half a century, Ramona Hahn has been the beacon of light on the Hahn family in politics, social, community and family affairs.


Born October 5, 1924, in Tokyo, Ramona Hahn was the daughter of missionaries. She lived in Japan until she moved to the U.S. at age 11. Years later, when she attended Pepperdine University, she met a young man who had been elected to the City Council at age 26 in 1947.

Ramona and Kenneth Hahn married in 1948.

Four years later, in 1952, Kenneth Hahn became a county supervisor of the second district, serving on the board for 40 years. Now many Black Angelenos of a certain age know that the Hahn family has been involved in Los Angeles politics for decades. At a time when most White politicians turned their backs on the Black community, Kenneth Hahn was stalwart in his support of the civil rights movement, becoming highly regarded by Blacks throughout the city. Many of those same folks have enjoyed many a picnic at the park that bears his name on La Cienega.

He died in 1997 at age 77 after nearly 50 years of marriage. But his political legacy lived on through his children-former City Controller, City Attorney and Mayor, now Superior Court Judge James K. Hahn and former L.A. City Councilwoman and recently elected Congresswoman Janice Hahn–and his wife Ramona, who passed away on July 11 at age 86.

She shunned the spotlight, but the “dedicated mother, grandmother and wife” always stood in support of her husband’s and children’s political ambitions. According to daughter Janice, “She was without a doubt the driving force behind our entire family. It was through her strength and support that our father, Kenny, become one of the most beloved leaders in Los Angeles’ history.”

Their mother’s “constant concern for others,” her children said, inspired them to pursue careers in public service. “Our parents were a team, working together to raise their family and to improve the lives of those Kenny represented,” her children added. “We have fond memories of our mother welcoming constituents into our home on Saturdays … working to address their problems.”


Ironically, Ramona Hahn’s death came one day before the special election in the 36th Congressional District won by Janice Hahn, the Democratic nominee for the South Bay-based seat in an extremely contentious special election against Craig Huey. It is said that mother Hahn was “looking forward to seeing her daughter sworn in as the next congresswoman of the 36th District.”

Throughout her life, she was a devoted member of the Church of Christ. Like her daughter, Ramona Hahn lived in San Pedro, where she passed away. In addition to her two children, Hahn is survived by five brothers, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Categories: Celebration of Life

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