Hawthorne is a city in southwest Los Angeles County, about 9 miles southwest of Downtown L.A., and about 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The surrounding communities of Hawthorne are Lennox and Westmont to the north; West Athens and Gardena on the east; El Camino Village, and Lawndale are south; to the west are Manhattan Beach and El Segundo; LAX is just 2 miles northwest. The 405 Freeway runs along the west side of Hawthorne and the 105 Freeway is on the north, providing easy access to the rest of the county and the many attractions, businesses, and services.
The city began as the Hawthorne Improvement Company and was named after the American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne had a dark history during the 1930’s when it was a “whites only” settlement that warned African-Americans to be out of town by sundown. The 2010 census recorded 27.7% of the population as black, and whites accounted for only about 33% with the majority of the population being Hispanic or Latino. Most households were found to be families (68.7%) with an average size of 3.54 persons. The age range of residents was well spread out with a median age of 31.5 years.
Hawthorne is served by 5 different public school districts: Centinela Valley Union High School , Hawthorne, Wiseburn, Lawndale Elementary, and L.A. Unified; there is also one private school. There are two colleges- Los Angeles Southwest College, and El Camino College, and one public library administered by the county. Hawthorne is the location of several notable businesses- the headquarters for SpaceX, Tesla Motors has a design office, and Northrop Corporation founded by Jack Northrop in 1939.
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