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."


A week of entertainment news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

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.

For more like this:

Etta James Dies At 73

Banoist Earl Scruggs Dies At 88

Five-Time World Boxing Champion Johnny Tapia Dies

Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, 'MCA,' Dies At 47

James Farentino Of 'Dynasty' Dies At 73

Sylvester Stallone Breaks Neck

Leave a comment

Read more about: