Herman Leonard
all that jazz

 A lot has happened to Herman Leonard since we first featured his work six years ago in Ohio University Today. Most notable for Leonard, BFA '47, is the fact that the White House came calling for his photographs of jazz musicians dating back to the 1930s. President Clinton presented the photos to Thailand's jazz-loving king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, at a state dinner in Bangk ok in late November.

Leonard has visited the Athens campus several times since picking up a 1992 Medal of Merit Award from the Alumni Association. His son, David, is an Ohio University sophomore majoring in computer design, and 63 of Leonard's photos have joined the permanent collection of the campus' new Kennedy Museum of American Art at The Ridges.

"Good Morning America" and National Public Radio's "All Things Co nsidered" both featured segments on Leonard and his work in late 1996. Tony Bennett, who has called Leonard "the greatest living photographer of jazz musicians," praised his friend on a recent appearance on "The Late Show" with David Letterman.

Leonard has begun work on his third book, a photographic look at New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and his home for the past four years. "I was out shooting just the other night at 4 in the morning in a jazz club," ; he said. "I'm out shooting now more than ever."

(Photo by Herman Leonard, "Tony Bennett, 1955" All rights reserved)


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Editor: Bill Estep (bestep1@ohiou.edu)