A creature of such magnificence that he seemed to have been created on a different scale and shape for another, more Olympian, Universe. . .he was all the Arrow collar young men, all the football heroes for the covers of the Saturday Evening Post...all the young men in the Kuppenheimer clothing ads, he was all of these rolled into one, and he was something more than all that.
Like Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth, Leyendecker was a famous illustrator who drew hundreds of covers for The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, and other magazines. The two artists were friends -- Rockwell was a pallbearer at Leyendecker's funeral. But their styles and themes could not be more different.
Small, timid, humdrum lives in small towns.
Probably heterosexual, though he sometimes crushed on his male models.
Brash, bold, glittering lives in Manhattan, Hollywood, and Chicago
Endless beefcake and appreciative male gazes.
Gay, often used his lover Charles Beach as a model.
His work was coded so that gay audiences "in the know" would catch the homoerotic content, while heterosexuals stayed oblivious.