Today is the birthday of famed 20th century painter and illustrator, Norman Rockwell. Popular for his depictions of everyday American culture, the prolific magazine cover artist would turn 119 years old today.
Born in New York City in 1894, Rockwell was a student at both the National Academy of Design and the Arts Student League before he went on to create iconic artwork for Boy's Life and the Saturday Evening Post. Working for nearly half a century, he is said to have produced over 4,000 illustrations and paintings.
To celebrate Mr. Rockwell's birthday, we've put together a slideshow of 10 facts you might not have known about the artist. Scroll through the slides below and let us know how you are celebrating his birthday in the comments section.
Norman Rockwell Had His Breakthrough At Age 19
Rockwell's breakthrough came in 1912 at age 18 when he produced an illustration for Carl H. Claudy's "<a href="http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/artists-gallery/saturday-evening-post-cover-artists/norman-rockwell-gallery/norman-rockwell-biography">Tell Me Why: Stories about Mother Nature</a>."
Rockwell Became An Editor At Age 19
Norman Rockwell became the editor of <a href="http://www.bsamuseum.org/Museum/Exhibitions/Rockwell.aspx">Boy's Life</a> at the age of 19.
Norman Rockwell Was Rejected By The Navy
Rockwell attempted to enlist in the U.S. Navy during WWI; however, he was underweight and was<a href="http://www.patriotspoint.org/news_events/norman-rockwell-at-the-charleston-navy-yard/"> refused entry</a> on his first try. After a night of gorging on food though, Rockwell returned to the recruiters and was appointed as a military artist.
Norman Rockwell Produced Over 300 Covers For The Saturday Evening Post
Over his 47-year career, Norman Rockwell published a total of <a href="http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/506383/Norman-Rockwell">322 original covers for The Saturday Evening Post</a>.
Rockwell Suffered From Depression
Rockwell suffered from depression during his lifetime. He was treated by analyst Erik Erikson who reportedly said that <a href="http://www.berkshireeagle.com/ci_12745939?source=most_emailed">Rockwell painted his happiness, but he didn't live it</a>.
One Of Rockwell's Last Paintings Was Of Judy Garland
One of Rockwell's last works was a <a href="http://collection.nrm.org/search.do?id=255909&db=object&view=detail">portrait of Judy Garland</a> in 1969.
Vladimir Nabokov Thought He Was Like Salvador Dali (In A Not So Nice Way)
Author Vladimir Nabokov once curiously described the artists as such: “<a href="http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/article.cfm?AID=3542&AT=1">Salvador Dali is really Norman Rockwell’s twin brother kidnapped by Gypsies in babyhood.</a>”
Rockwell Inspired The Film "Forrest Gump"
A shot in the iconic film "Forrest Gump" includes a recreation of Rockwell's "Girl with Black Eye," featuring Forrest instead of a girl. <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,164845,00.html">Much of the film's visual aesthetic is said to be inspired by Rockwell's art</a>.
George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg Are Both Fans
Both <a href="http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/02/indianajones200802?currentPage=5">George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg </a>own original Rockwell drawings, the former owning "The Peach Crop" and the latter a sketch of Rockwell's "Triple Self-Portrait."
Norman Rockwell Sells Big At Auction
Norman Rockwell's "<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/30/nyregion/30rockwell.html?_r=0">Breaking Home Ties</a>" sold for a whopping $15.4 million at Sotheby's in 2006.
Earlier on HuffPost: