Obituary: Leo Ziffren

Prominent attorney and Malibu resident Leo Ziffren has died. 

Ziffren was an active member of the community who worked on many Malibu causes. He served as a member of the Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy Board of Directors and helped raise funds for the creation of Legacy Park, among other local endeavors. Described by locals as a gentleman, he was known as a generous person who supported many causes, but preferred to do so quietly. 

In a 2005 Letter to the Editor in The Malibu Times, Ziffren reflected on the city’s acquisition of the Chili Cook-Off site and other pieces of land. 


“Future generations will look back, I am convinced, with gratitude on these accomplishments,” Ziffren wrote. “The lesson to this generation is that we can accomplish anything for the benefit of the city if we all work together.” 

Ziffren grew up in Iowa as one of six siblings. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Iowa and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1952. 

Ziffren started a law firm with his brothers Lester, an attorney and civic leader, and Paul, a Democratic Party leader who chaired the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee. The firm later merged with another group, and Ziffren went on to have a successful career as a lawyer in Los Angeles. 

Ziffren was preceded in death by his brothers Paul, who died in 1991, and Lester, who died in 2010. 

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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