Leo Bersamina was born in San Francisco, California and grew up surfing and fishing on the coast, just south of the city. Early on, Bersamina began studying art and design in Santa Cruz, California. Later he attended San Francisco State University to finish his BA with an emphasis in Studio Art. He received an MFA in Painting at Yale School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut.
Upon graduation from Yale, Bersamina lived in New York City until he returned to California to teach Studio Art at UC Berkeley. Along with his studio practice, Bersamina has also taught Studio Art at Yale, Stanford, Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Diablo Valley College (where he currently is a tenured instructor). Bersamina continues to exhibit nationally and internationally, and currently resides just north of San Francisco.