Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

David Legaspi III, Artist Who Created Hundreds of Local Murals, Dies at Age 51

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

David Legaspi III, an artist and educator whose murals are all over Southern California, died earlier this month after having a heart attack.

Legaspi died on June 5, although news of his death was not announced until weeks later when it was confirmed that his family in Australia had been notified, according to a post on his memorial page.

Legaspi was born in the Philippines, but after graduating from college he spent time working as an artist and architect in the U.S. Army, England and Wisconsin. He spent time working on murals in Sydney, Australia and later in Los Angeles. In 2002, he stopped working as an architect entirely and switched to doing murals for (and with) children full-time. He called the children who worked with him his "Little Artists." He frequently used the funds from his private commissions to pay for his work on his public projects.

His last project was typical of his work. He was putting in long hours painting a mural with 1,200 kids at a school in LAUSD, but he died before the project could be finished. Legaspi worked on hundreds of murals and in schools in Malibu, Santa Monica, the San Fernando Valley and the South Bay.

Support for LAist comes from

A Celebration of Life for David is being held June 27 at 1 pm at Barnum Hall on the campus of Santa Monica High School. For more information, visit the event's Facebook page.

For more photos of his murals, check out the gallery on the Malibu Patch and If you have photos of your own you'd like to share, hit us up at