Les Fendia was born Laszlo Harcsa on September 20, 1944 in Hungary. Hungary, like the rest of Europe, was
embroiled at the time of World War II. In fact, the Allies were bombing Les’s hometown the day he was born. His childhood was very difficult. Like most Hungarians, Les’s family was crushed by the destruction and resulting poverty that came with the wartime Nazi occupation, followed by the post-war occupation by Stalin’s Soviet Union. In 1956 the Hungarians revolted and, at the age of 12, Les escaped by himself from
Hungary and came to the United States.

Once in the United States Les was provided a home by Pete and Bea Fendia who moved him to Downey in 1958. Being something of a rebel and troublemaker, Les initially had trouble assimilating to life in America. However, once he entered Warren High School and started running track that became the focus of his life. Because of track he made many friends, assimilated into American high school life, and was offered many opportunities. At Warren, Les came to experience the pride and benefits of being an American. Les’s track
record in the 880 still stands but he is anxious to see it broken soon by one of the talented young runners at Warren today. After graduating from Warren, Les attended and ran track at Cerritos and then at UCLA where he achieved All American status in 1967. After graduating from UCLA, he married, started a business
career and family. Les is retired today and lives with his wife in Houston, Texas. He has two very successful children, Jennifer & Thomas, and four amazing grandchildren – Sara, Jack, Alexander & Jacob.
Les certainly considers his life a success and will always believes that his road to success began with the opportunities and friendships he garnered at Warren.

Inducted in 2014.