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Sports Artist LeRoy Neiman Dies At 91

Sports Artist LeRoy Neiman Dies At 91

06/21/2012

The eccentric American artist LeRoy Neiman, who captured the energy and excitement of sports events with his large, bright, impressionistic paintings, died at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan on Wednesday at the age of 91.

"We mourn the passing of such an extraordinary and talented man," his wife, Janet, and his family said in a statement, reports CNN.

Neiman, who was almost as well known for his large, handlebar mustache as he was for his art, born in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 8, 1921, was a military man when he was young, serving at the invasion of Normandy in World War II. He later became famous for his spirited paintings of sports events, U.S. presidents and jazz musicians.

Sports writer Nick Seitz once reported that Neiman had "the journalistic talent, as well as the artistic ability, to convey the essence of a game or contestant with great impact, from the Kentucky Derby to Wilt Chamberlain, from the America's Cup to Muhammad Ali, from the Super Bowl to Bobby Hull."

Neiman also worked as a contributing artist for Hugh Hefner's Playboy, and his ability to capture the energy and emotion inside the boxing ring in his paintings led Sylvester Stallone to ask him to appear in several of the movies in the Rocky franchise as a sports announcer.

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Read more: LeRoy Neiman, Sylvester Stallone, Hugh Hefner, Playboy, Rocky, Wilt Chamberlain, Muhammad Ali, Nick Seitz, Sports, Janet Neiman

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