The LA Artist Who Turned Down Disney and Fulfilled His American Dream

Feb 24, 2019 648

BY: Marianna Gatto

Best known as a Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator, Leo Politi pioneered multiculturalism in children’s literature and captured bygone eras and communities with his paintbrush. The son of Italian immigrants, Leo Politi was born Atiglio Leoni Politi in Fresno, Cali., in 1908. Located in California’s Central Valley, Fresno is typically not among the cities that come to mind when we speak of Italian immigration to the United States.

However, in the 1870s, Italian immigrants began settling in the region, which is one of the seven most fertile valleys in the world. Its modest farms helped make Fresno an agricultural giant, and the city’s various immigrant groups came to form the very backbone of the city.

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