Lloyd Aldrich was born in Marion, Kansas in 1886 and when but three months old his parents moved to Los Angeles. He was orphaned at 12 and went to live with an older brother in Colorado.
After graduating from the University of Illinois, he again traveled west to work on engineering projects in Colorado, Northern California and in Los Angeles. As a young man he was a hunting partner of President Teddy Roosevelt.
He was appointed Chief Deputy City Engineer in early August 1933 and four weeks later became City Engineer on August 31, 1933. Among his major accomplishments were construction of the Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant, 400 bridges throughout the city, and design of a $100 million beach expansion project. Under him also began the Greater Los Angeles Freeway construction program after World War II.
He was also one of the founders of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Depression of the 1930's, and was an early leader in the fight against smog in Los Angeles. During his tenure as City Engineer he was sometimes at odds with other City officials and unsuccessfully sought to unseat former Mayor Fletcher Bowron.
Lloyd Aldrich was City Engineer for 22 years, longer than any City Engineer before or since, because during his tenure in that position, it was given Civil Service status by amendment to the City Charter.
After, his retirement in 1955, he was active in private consulting work.
He died in July, 1967 at the age of 81.