NEW ROCHELLE, NY — For countless visitors each year, a tour of brand-new York City has a visit come Rockefeller Center. From October to April the ice rink is open. After Thanksgiving the Christmas tree is lit attracting tourists and brand-new Yorkers alike. And at the center of it every is one 18 foot tall, 8 ton gilded statue that Prometheus, the Titan native Greek mythology that stole fire indigenous the Gods and gave it come man.

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What couple of of those countless visitors understand is the a previous postal worker indigenous Westchester County to be the design for the gilded adonis.

Prometheus is a price of person striving, man’s pursuit for knowledge, civilization and also progress in keeping with the all at once theme of the Rockefeller Center, “New Frontiers and the in march of Civilization.” in ~ the frosting is the inscription “Prometheus, teacher in every art, carried the fire that hath verified to mortals a means to mighty ends.” Unhappy v the naughty Titan, Zeus punished Prometheus by having actually him chained to a rock wherein an eagle would certainly eat his liver everyday.

Leon Nole, the model, was more fortunate. The only had to hold the attitude every weekday for 3 months.

The Rockefeller facility website claims the Prometheus statue is the “fourth most recognized statue in the country, behind the Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore, and is the many photographed piece of arts in NYC.”

Leonardo Nole, who passed away in 1998 in ~ the age of 91, was born in brand-new Rochelle, NY top top April 1st, 1906, the first of seven children — 3 brothers and 3 sister —born to Dominick and also Grace Grieco Nole, immigrants from Reggio Calabria in southerly Italy. Dominick operated at a tannery.

The Noles to be an athletic family, Leon included. He was an completed athlete who delighted in hiking, skating and rowing. He won medals in single Oar rowing at the brand-new Rochelle Rowing Club. He would certainly walk from brand-new Rochelle come Yonkers to take a ferry to new Jersey come hike top top the Palisades. That trained in ~ a gym in brand-new Rochelle where he lifted weights to develop his physique.

“My attention in athletics to be awakened on the day when my researches in school an initial took up the glories of old Greece and also its culture,” Nole said a fitness publishing in 1931. “The story of Greek athletes, their prowess and also their ideals was a great source of attention to me and soon became motivation to me.”

Leon, together he was recognized to family and friends, to visit Columbus School and graduated from brand-new Rochelle High School. He took his first job in 7th grade. At age 16 to be hauling ice for the brand-new Rochelle ice cream Company. It was while functioning as a lifeguard the he was spotted through a photographer who said modeling.

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“It was a challenging pose because that me to hold, girlfriend know, flying through the air v the fire,” Nole said a conventional Star reporter.

After the Prometheus assignment, Mr. Nole went earlier to modeling at buy it Lawrence and also amateur theatrics in brand-new Rochelle.

He auditioned because that the function of Tarzan in what was later released together Tarzan the do not be afraid on august 11, 1933. The duty went come Buster Crabbe, an Olympic gold medalist swimmer.

Nole held a collection of jobs until the outbreak of world War II. He was drafted into the Army and also assigned to agency B that the 113th Infantry Battalion. While offer on coast patrol on long Island in 1942, the was sent from Watermill, NY to Old Sayville, CT for two weeks come pose because that a sculpture of an infantryman i was delegated by the army to Henry Keist, the very same the sculptor that had worked on Prometheus’s hair. Nole returned to duty and was later shipped overseas. He observed combat in Europe and also was wounded.

After the war, Nole take it a job at the brand-new Rochelle article Office. He later transferred to the Sacramento post Office in the late 1950’s. The married his wife, Alva. She died in 1973. He owned and operated a golf range. That made constant trips earlier to brand-new York to visit v family and friends in brand-new Rochelle.

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“Every year when I go earlier east come visit, ns usually include a avoid at the Sunken Plaza to view the now famous fountain number of Prometheus,” he created in 1994.