Raul R. Rodriguez, Renowned Rose Parade Float Designer, Dies at 71

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Raul Rodriguez is best known for the floats he designed for the annual Rose Parade. Above, Rodriguez in 1999. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Raul Rodriguez, an acclaimed float designer who created hundreds of floral confections for the Rose Parade, has died, his family announced. He was 71.

Rodriguez died of cardiac arrest at his home in Pasadena on Wednesday afternoon, according to publicist Harlan Boll.

Rodriguez’s career as a champion float maker began at 15, when he designed his first Rose Parade float for the city of Whittier and took home a trophy. He went on to design at least 500 floats and won multiple awards.

A third-generation Angeleno, Rodriguez was born the day after New Year’s Day, 1944, the oldest of three born to a sheet-metal worker and a department store supervisor. He was raised in Boyle Heights, and his family moved later to Whittier, Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs.

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