Robert Graham was born in Mexico City in 1938 and studied at San Jose State University (B.A., 1963) and San Francisco Art Institute (M.F.A., 1964). Graham’s work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and over twenty other museums worldwide. Commissioned sculptural installations include The Great Bronze Doors of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles, the Charlie Parker Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Duke Ellington Monument in New York City, and the FDR Memorial in Washington DC.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver announced on May 28, 2008 that Graham would be inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts. The induction ceremony took place on December 15, 2008 and he was inducted alongside 11 other legendary Californians.
Graham died 12 days after the ceremony on December 27, 2008. His funeral was held at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which has great bronze doors that Graham created for the cathedral.