Leon Moran, also known as John Leon Moran, made his reputation as a figure painter, although he also painted landscapes. He was born in Philadelphia in 1864. Moran's father, painter Edward Moran, was his first teacher. In fact, Leon Moran was born into an artistic family. Peter and Percy, his brothers, as well as four unclesand his fatherwere painters and etchers. Moran continued his studies at the National Academy of Design in New York City, where he ultimately established a studio in 1883. He made European visits to view and evaluate art there in the late 1870s.
Primarily a watercolorist, Moran died in Watchung, New Jersey in 1941.
He exhibited frequently at the American Watercolor Society and National Academy of Design in New York City. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society and the Plainfield Art Association in New Jersey. He received awards from the American Art Society, Philadelphia, and the Art Club of Philadelphia.