Remembering LeRoy Neiman (1921-2012)

Illustrator, LeRoy Neiman, who was perhaps best known for creating colorful expressionistic paintings of professional athletes and sporting events, died on June 18, in New York City. After serving in the army in World War II, Neiman began his career as a freelance fashion illustrator. In the early 1950s he befriended a young Hugh Hefner, who was about to begin publishing Playboy Magazine. Hefner was impressed with Neiman’s work and soon Neiman’s illustrations began appearing in the magazine. According to the New York Times, in addition to the many illustrations Neiman created for Playboy. he, “produced more than 100 paintings and 2 murals for 18 of the Playboy clubs that opened around the world”1.

In the 1960s and 1970s Neiman’s work was featured on official posters for the Olympics and several Super Bowls. His work also appeared on ABC and CBS Sports.

Muhammad Ali
LeRoy Neiman, Muhammad Ali (circa 1960s).


Grimes, W., (June 20, 2012). LeRoy Neiman Dies at 91; Artist of Bold Life and Bright Canvases. New York Times.

  1. dd20century posted this
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