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Leslie Ragan was born on November 29, 1897 in Woodbine, Iowa. He was the son of Charles Ragan and Olive Evans. He married Mildred Enes about March 20, 1929 in Manhattan, New York.
He attended the Cumming School of Art in Des Moines and the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked for the Office of War Information. His train illustrations have become art deco icons.
During World War I, he enlisted in the United States Army on January 28, 1918. He was a Private in the 21st Aero Service Squadron in France. He was released on April 15, 1919.
Leslie passed away about November 24, 1972 in Oregon 1).
Some of the train illustrations of Leslie Ragan inspired François Schuiten for his Type 12 Atlantic illustrations.