Sculptor Robert Graham dies in California at 70

Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:54pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Robert Graham, a California sculptor whose works were incorporated into civic monuments including the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., has died at the age of 70.

Graham, who also created monuments to boxer Joe Louis and jazz legends Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington, died on Saturday at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.

At his side were his wife, Oscar-winning actress Anjelica Huston, and other members of his family.

"Robert was an amazing sculptor who forever shaped the presence of sculpture art throughout California and the world," California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "His work was truly influential and he will forever remain an icon in this state."

Graham, born in Mexico City, lived much of his life in California and gained fame for designing a ceremonial gateway for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the 1984 Olympics.

According to the governor's office, his work has been the subject of more than 80 solo exhibitions.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by John O'Callaghan)

<p>A sculpture titled "Torso" by Robert Graham on Rodeo Drive is seen next to a Louis Vuitton logo in Beverly Hills, California December 20, 2006. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>