World-renowned artist LeRoy Neiman, who passed away in June 2012, married fine art to popular art with his brilliantly colored, energetic depictions of sports, celebrities, America at play, the Playboy Femlin, life on safari, and famous locations. Neiman was revered for his representations of sporting events and athletes--even considered the artistic counterpart to Muhammad Ali. Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, he left high school in 1942 to join the U.S. Army, returning four years later to obtain his high school degree. He then studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (where, for a time, he taught), the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois. Early in the 1950s he became a fashion illustrator for the department store of Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co., where he met Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in 1953. Neiman was a key artistic contributor to Playboy ever since. He lived in New York City, overlooking Central Park. There he kept his studio, offices, archives and penthouse on separate floors. His prints are eagerly collected, fetching impressive sums. He published more than a dozen books of his collected work, has won numerous awards, and is included in the fine art collections of the nation's top museums.