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After meeting Hugh Hefner while working on a sketch job for a Chicago department store, LeRoy Neiman got his first big break with the newly created Playboy magazine. Neiman published sketches and wrote a regular column in the men’s magazine. In the 1960s, while living in New York City, Neiman continued his craft, drawing and painting major athletes and other famous figures. The New York Times featured some sketches made by Neiman at the first Muhammad Ali/Joe Frasier boxing match in 1971. He went on to be the official artist of five Olympic games beginning in Munich, 1972. Neiman painted for such events as the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the Bobby Fisher-Boris Spassky World Chess Championship in 1972, Broadway plays, and even the Super Bowl. For the ‘79 and ‘76 Olympic games, the fast-food restaurant Burger King sponsored a promotion with Neiman where diners would receive an Olympic print when they purchased specific menu items. Commemorative LeRoy Neiman pins were also given to diners wishing to donate.
LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation. (2019, February 8). About LeRoy Neiman. Retrieved from https://www.leroyneiman.com/about/
Vogan, T. (2016). LeRoy Neiman and the Art of Network Sports Television. American Art, 30(3), 54–75. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.1086/690266