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William Mulholland

William Mulholland (1855-1935) was born in Belfast, Ireland and immigrated to New York City in the 1870s, traveled to San Francisco in 1877, worked as a miner in Arizona and finally moved to the city that would build his reputation, Los Angeles. A self-taught engineer, he took work with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and eventually became head of that agency. Few positions in local government have had such an effect on the fate of a metropolis--Los Angeles is a chapparal-covered desert that was transformed by sprinklers, pipes and Mulholland's public waterworks. He initiated the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which was completed in 1913, and was the godfather of the infamous St. Francis Dam. The legendary Los Angeles road, Mulholland Drive--perhaps second only in L.A. street fame to Sunset Boulevard--is named in his honor. Mulholland died in 1935 and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

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