Born Victor David Grunbaum in Vienna, Austria in 1903, he studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and opened his first practice there in 1933. He fled Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938, emigrating to New York and changing his name to Gruen.
After achieving great success designing upscale retail shops in New York City with his wife, the couple relocated to Los Angeles in 1941. Gruen became a U.S. citizen in 1943.
By the 1960s, Victor Gruen Associates was an internationally recognized firm, conceiving Modern master plans for cities around the world. By the 1970s, the firm had designed over fifty shopping malls throughout the country.
Biography via The Los Angeles Conservancy