By Michael Baadke
Illustrator J.C. Leyendecker was born Joseph Christian Leyendecker on March 23, 1874, in Montabaur, a town in the Rhineland area of the German Empire.
The Leyendecker family moved to Chicago, Ill., in 1882, where J.C. would later study at the Chicago Art Institute.
Leyendecker became an accomplished illustrator of magazine covers, posters, and advertising material. He was a regular cover artist for the Saturday Evening Post, creating 322 covers for the popular publication, and an influence on Norman Rockwell, who would later become another established Saturday Evening Post cover artist.
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Leyendecker’s illustration of the Arrow Collar Man became a popular advertising icon, and a 1923 rendition by Leyendecker is featured on the 34¢ stamp honoring him (Scott 3502c) in the American Illustrator set issued Feb. 1, 2001.
The 33¢ Baby New Year stamp issued Dec. 27, 1999 (Scott 3369), also used a Leyendecker illustration, one that appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on Jan. 2, 1937.