Joseph Leyendecker was born at Montabaur in Germany on 23rd March 1874. When he was a child his family emigrated to the United States. After studying art in Chicago he attempted to become a full-time illustrator.
In 1896 Leyendecker won a competition held by The Century Magazine (Maxfield Parrish was second). His prize was to illustrate one of their covers. He set up his own studio and his illustrations were published in several magazines including Collier'sand the Saturday Evening Post (1900 to 1940).
During the First World War Leyendecker produced several posters for the government including the famous, Weapons for Liberty.
Joseph Leyendecker died on 25th July 1951.