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 • Contra Costa County
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Sam Rodia
Original name: Simon Rodia
Birth: 1875
Death: Jul. 17, 1965

He designed and built the famous Watts Towers in Los Angeles. In 1921, Simon Rodia bought a wedge-shaped lot at 1765 E. 107th Street in the Watts area of Los Angeles, California. Like many Italian immigrants, Rodia was a construction worker by trade. For the next thirty three years, Rodia used every spare minute he had building the now-famous Watts Towers which are recognized internationally as brilliant examples of folk art. Using discarded materials from his day job, bits of broken glass and pottery gathered by neighborhood children, and seashells collected from nearby beaches. Rodia, working alone and without the aid of machine equipment, built what he said was a tribute to his adopted country: 'I had in mind to do something big and I did it...you have to be good-good or bad-bad to be remembered.' In 1955, Rodia, nearing the age of 80, moved to the northern California town of Martinez to live with his sister. He deeded the Watts property to a neighbor, and had nothing more to do with his masterpiece. The towers still stand today as a monument to one man's self-taught engineering genious and unique artistic vision. (bio by: Joe Costa) 
 
Burial:
Saint Catherine of Siena Cemetery
Martinez
Contra Costa County
California, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Apr 29, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 5237
Sam Rodia
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Sam Rodia
Added by: Scott G
 
Sam Rodia
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
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 Added: May. 14, 2013
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