Richard Riordan was born in Flushing, New York in 1930. He received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Princeton University in 1952, after which he served in the Korean War as a U.S. Army field artillery officer. After leaving the Army, Riordan attended the University of Michigan, where he earned a law degree. He went on to become a successful attorney and businessman, forming the law firm of Riordan & McKinzie during the early 1970s. In June of 1993, Riordan was elected to succeed long-term Mayor Tom Bradley to become the 39th Mayor of Los Angeles. He assumed office on July 1, 1993. On April 8, 1997, more than 60 percent of Los Angeles voters reelected him to a second term that concluded on June 30, 2001.