Illustrator Sydney Leff dead at 104

Dec. 18, 2005 at 4:12 PM
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OSSINING, N.Y., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Sheet music illustrator Sydney Leff has died in Ossining, N.Y., at age 104.

Leff, who drew the covers for nearly 2,000 songs in the 1920s and 1930s, died Dec. 10, the New York Times reported Sunday.

Among the golden standards illustrated by Leff were "Stormy Weather," "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Ain't Misbehavin'" -- as well as tunes by Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington and many others, the Times said.

The styles of Leff's covers spanned genres from Art Neouveau to Deco, described by the Times as "small graphic drams."

When photographs replaced art for sheet music covers in the early 1940s, Leff went into advertising and served as art director for many agencies.

Leff's wife, Rita, also an artist and illustrator, died in 1979. He is survived by two daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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