Francisco Bravo, Class of 1927

November 02, 2001
Santa Paula High School
By B. J. Harding, President, SPUHS Alumni Association Biography #161 (Have you submitted yours?)The oldest of four children of Jose and Clotilde Bravo, Francisco was born and raised in Santa Paula. His siblings were Mercedes (’29), Consuelo (’32) and Joe (’37).Francisco worked with his family as a child so only had time for the track team in his senior year at SPUHS. He graduated from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California and became a licensed pharmacist. He then enrolled in the Stanford University School of Medicine and became a physician and surgeon.Dr. Francisco Bravo enlisted in the Army in World War II and served as a Lt. Colonel in the Medics in the Pacific Theater of operation. At the close of World War II, he established the Bravo Clinic on Soto Street in the Boyle Heights section of East Los Angeles and served as family physician to innumerable Chicano/Latino families, tending to their illnesses, performing needed surgeries, and delivering their newborn babies. Dr. Bravo also established a scholarship fund to help Chicanos complete their medical school education.Francisco served as the first Chicano on the Police Commission for the City of Los Angeles. He helped found and served as president of the Pan American National Bank located in East Los Angeles. He also served on the Agriculture Board for the State of California.
Over the years Francisco purchased or built mobile home parks in Riverside County, established cattle ranches and farms and owned 2,000 acres of hay and grain farmland in Calexico. His acreage paralleling California Highway 395 in Perris was sold in the early 1960s to Del Webb for the Sun City development.Francisco married Maxine Taylor of West Virginia and they had three children, daughter Francine and sons Frank and Richard. Maxine predeceased Francisco, who died in May of 1990. Shortly after his death, the Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet School opened in the City of Los Angeles. This school was built with private funds and on its opening was proclaimed the area’s best high school. The National Medical Enterprises built the facility for the sum of $45 million in 27 months instead of the four or five years required when using state school bond money.From a migrant worker to a wealthy and important pharmacist, doctor, farmer and businessman, this alumnus of Santa Paula Union High School did his school and community very proud.

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