Lester Boronda was a member of one of California’s early Spanish families. His great-grandfather was a member of the second Junipero Serra expedition into Alta California in 1770. Boronda was raised on a Salinas cattle ranch where today the family home is a state historical landmark.
His art studies began in San Francisco at the Mark Hopkins Institute under Arthur Mathews, where he as a classmate of Thomas A. McGlynn and E. Charlton Fortune. He also studied at the Art Students League of New York under F. Dumond. He did little painting in California, spending only 1912-1913 in Monterey.