Leslie Nelson Shaw, Sr.

Leslie Nelson Shaw Sr. (1922-1985) was the first African American Postmaster for the City of Los Angeles, appointed by John F Kennedy in 1963.

Shaw married civic leader Ann Shaw (1921-2015) and had four children: Dan, Valerie Lynn, Leslie Jr., and Rebecca. 

Leslie N Shaw

Postmaster Shaw was the first African American in the nation to lead a large federal agency, the third largest postal system in the United States, with 15,000 employees and 92 stations.

With the exception of his tenure as Postmaster from 1963 to 1969, Shaw's entire career involved the Savings and Loan industry starting in 1949 with Watts Savings and Loan. Shaw worked his way to the Vice Presidency of Family Savings and Loan, then the presidency of First City Savings and later Corporate Vice President of Great Western Financial Corporation from 1969 to 1985. His volunteer activities included an appointment by Mayor Tom Bradley as Chairman of the City's Private Industry Council from 1981 to 1985. Shaw also was a board member of Lockheed Corporation, The United Way, and the National Urban League.

During World War II, he fought with the all Black 371st Regiment Combat Team, 92nd Infantry Division in the European Theater-Italian Campaign. He was decorated with the Bronze Star for meritorious and heroic achievement.

In 1979, the City of Los Angeles dedicated a park in his name at 2nd Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard.

— Photo and Biography of Leslie N. Shaw, Sr. from poster presented by the Los Angeles City Council displayed at the Leslie N. Shaw Sr. Post Office on Crenshaw.

Learn about the vision for upgrading the park