By 1921, Alvaro Obregon had been elected President of Mexico and Rivera, with his strong personality, became the leading artist under his administration. Rivera undertook a number of murals that glorified the history and peoples of Mexico. Often huge in scale they decorate many public buildings in Mexico City. One of the most magnificent, although left unfinished at his death, was his mural for the National Palace in 1929, depicting the history of Mexico.
Diego Rivera spent four years in the United States from 1930, painting a number of frescoes, the most famous being a series on industry in Detroit.
In the late 1930's, he went through a slow period, in terms of work. He had no major mural commissions around this time so he devoted himself to painting other works. Diego Rivera returned to murals with one made for the 1940 Golden Gate International Exposition held in San Francisco. In Mexico City, he spent from 1945 to 1951 working on a series of murals known as "From the Pre-Hispanic Civilization to the Conquest." His last mural was called "Popular History of Mexico." Diego Rivera died on November 24, 1957.
Since his death, Diego Rivera is remembered as an important figure in 20th century art. "He liked to be seen with women and he loved women very much. Only one thing pleased him more than being out to dinner or to a gala celebration with two beautiful women, that was free time to paint... Painting was his true love." Lola Olmedo, a close friend.