Italian immigrant who created the Watts Towers in Los Angeles; his name adorned the public Simon Rodia Continuation High School.
He worked as a tiller and a construction worker. His work on the Watts Towers started in 1921, but he didn't finish until 1954; his neighbors often vandalized the Towers.
His family raised him in Serino, Italy, before he emigrated to the U.S. in 1895 with his brother; he was only 15. His brother was killed in a mining accident. He married Lucia Ucci in 1902 and together they had three children; they divorced in 1909.
He and I.M. Pei were both world-renowned, pioneering architects of their respective generations.