Frank Eliscu, American (1913 - 1996)

Frank Eliscu, a New York sculptor who designed the Heisman Trophy, died on June 19 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida. He was 83.

Mr. Eliscu was 23 and a recent graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn when he was commissioned to design the Heisman trophy, his best-known work. He completed it in 1935. The bronze study of a football player running for a touchdown is awarded annually by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York to the best college football player.

Mr. Eliscu did many larger bronze sculptures for banks and office buildings throughout New York in the 1960's and 70's. From 1962 to 1972 he designed the engravings for six glass works produced by Steuben.

He was the principal designer of the 1974 Inaugural medals for President Gerald R. Ford and Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller. President Ford later presented a bronze eagle, an enlarged three-dimensional version of the one on the Presidential medal, to Leonid I. Brezhnev, the Soviet leader.

Mr. Eliscu's tallest sculpture, "Falling Books," a five-story-high bronze screen, was installed in 1983 above the entrance to the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress in Washington. Last month he completed a clay model of "Resurrection" for the Diocese of Venice in Florida.

Mr. Eliscu, who was born in New York City, served in the Army in World War II, then taught art for 20 years at the High School of Industrial Art, later the High School of Art and Design, in Manhattan. He became a member of the National Academy of Design in 1967, and from 1967 to 1972 was president of the National Sculpture Society.

- From his Obituary in the New York Times - July 7th, 1996

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