Alexander Leydenfrost was born Sandor Leidenfrost in Debrecen in 1888, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was from a noble family and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine and Applied Arts of Budapest.
The First World War and the subsequent collapse of the monarchy convinced Leydenfrost to emigrate to the United States in 1923. He changed his name to Alexander, which was easier to pronounce for Americans, and found employment as an industrial illustrator.
He changed his career from an industrial designer to a professional illustrator-artist in 1939, the same year World War II broke out in Europe. He did artwork for Planet Stories, Popular Science and Life magazine, among others. It’s for his photorealistic illustrations for the latter that he’s best remembered, but retro-futurists will enjoy some of his earlier work, featured here.