America’s Most Famous Sports Painter, LeRoy Neiman, Dies

Jun 21, 2012  •  Post A Comment

He was by far America’s most famous painter of sporting events and sports figures. LeRoy Neiman, 91, has died, Reuters reports.

According to the report, Gail Parenteau, Neiman’s publicist, "said he died at Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan of natural causes. He had been hospitalized there in 2010 with vascular problems that required life-saving surgery to remove his right leg above the knee, she said."

Neiman had just celebrated his 91st birthday on June 8.

The article notes that "Neiman, a showman known for his handlebar mustache, sometimes painted live on television during major events such as the Olympics and the Super Bowl, helping make him one of the world’s most commercially successful contemporary artists. Among his subjects were boxing’s Muhammad Ali, former New York Jets football star Joe Namath and baseball greats Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio."

The  story adds, "By coincidence, his latest work — a multicolored golf ball 4 feet in diameter and completed in April — went on display in Chicago on Wednesday, said his archivist, Tara Zabor.

"Neiman was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 8, 1921, and was of Turkish and Swedish descent ‘as near as I can figure out,’ according to his official website."

neiman  ali.jpg

LeRoy Neiman and Muhammad Ali, with Neiman’s painting of Ali

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