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University of Connecticut University Libraries

#15 at Caledonian, Shiba Province, Japan

After serving in combat with the Marines in World War II, Donald Moss settled in New York City where he worked as a freelance artist for Esquire, Collier’s and other magazines and for various advertising agencies.

His first commission with Sports Illustrated came in 1954, just three months after the first issue of that magazine had appeared. For 30 years thereafter, Moss was the premier artist for Sports Illustrated,Ali-Forman Fight in Africa-Sports Illustrated cover painting more covers and editorial illustrations than any other American painter. His varied techniques included realism, abstraction, pointillism, and surrealism in a variety of media: oil, acrylic, tempera, watercolor and enamel.

Of his passion for sports painting, Moss says, “I have always been impressed by athletes who give everything to their sport. I admire their intensity, their ability to please others and to make a good living at the same time. I like to think I do the same.” In 2004, Mr. Moss completed a painting of one of UConn’s champion athletes—Diana Taurasi—and donated it to the university. The painting now hangs in the Auriemma Family Reading Room of the Babbidge Library.

Named “Sports Artist of the Year” in 1986 by the United States SportsGuy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens, Sports Illustrated cover (1 of 8) Academy, Moss has won many honors and awards for fine art paintings as well as for his sports art. Three of his Sports Illustrated paintings were included in the definitive Champions of American Sport exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution in 1981. His paintings hang in major sports halls of fame and his illustrations appear in many books on sport and art.

Donald Moss has designed a dozen stamps for the U.S. Postal Service and 36 first day covers. As chairman of the US Air Force Art Program, he traveled the world to produce 20 paintings for the USAF Art Collection. He is a life member of the Society of Illustrators in New York, a trustee of the National Art Museum of Sport in Indianapolis, and serves on the Illustration Committee of the New Britain Museum of American Art. He lives and works in Farmington, Connecticut.

Babbidge Library, Stevens Gallery
Curator: Dennis Thornton

[Donald F. Moss died on May 18, 2010. For more information, please go to]