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 George LeRoy (Roy) Hampton  (1923 - 1997)

About: George LeRoy (Roy) Hampton
 

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: western portrait, landscape, horses in action painting, animation

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George LeRoy (Roy) Hampton
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following information is from The Wednesday Sun, a Sun Tribune community newspaper of Kansas City, Missouri.

"REUNITED FAMILY" by Kellie Houx, Associate Editor, Tuesday, July 3, 2007 1:36 PM CDT

The pervasive nature of the Internet, a plethora of search engines and Web sites that pop up on almost any topic have been a blessing in reuniting the Hampton family.

Throughout the teen years of three brothers, their father, Western artist George Leroy (Roy) Hampton, and their mother, Ann, would drop hints about an older half brother.  About two years ago, that half brother, Ron Olson, south Kansas City, lost the father who raised him and believed the time might be right to find the rest of his family.

“I had a great father who raised me, but I knew there was more out there,” Olson said. “I thought my biological father was a cartoonist who would have worked for the Walter Lance Studios, but because of the Internet, I finally found the right Web site known as askart.com.”

On that Web site, Olson found clues such as the right year of birth for his father and that Hampton served as an assistant animator for Walt Disney.

The oldest Hampton, Bret, Valencia, Calif., had modified his father's entry. Olson's wife, Lyn, pastor at Southbroadland Presbyterian Church, 7850 Holmes Road, posted a message on the Web site, pretending to be her husband.

“She masqueraded as me and I'm happy she did,” Ron said. “I got Bret's number, but I was a little shy to call after all these years, so I sent him my number and got a call that day.”

Bret, who had the role of oldest brother until meeting Ron, said he knew his father had been married briefly, but not much more than that.

Bill Hampton, Homosassa, Fla., the middle brother, said that over the years he and Bret had conversations about finding Ron.

Tim Hampton, Spring Hill, Fla., learned about his older brother while going through a divorce.

“My mother, Julia, and Roy were married in 1946,” Ron said. “They separated after a few months. The agreement was made that Gordon Olson, my mother's second husband, would raise me.”

Roy Hampton's third wife, Joyce, said her husband gave up the idea of finding Ron out of love.

“He would talk about it once in a while,” she said. “Roy would wonder about Ron's life, whether he served in the military too, and just what he was like. Roy often wondered if his oldest son would hate him for the choice he made.

“It really is a miracle that these brothers found each other.”

A few pictures scanned and shared between the brothers cemented the family. Ron e-mailed a wedding photo of Hampton and his mother. Bret immediately recognized the mustache.

“There was no doubt after that,” Tim said, adding that he is glad Hampton's artwork led to the brothers reuniting.

“My dad made a living as an artist,” Bill said.

Bret said Hampton painted portraits of actors such as John Wayne and Ned Romero, landscapes, and Native Americans on reservations, especially after seeing how the West played out on the silver screen.

Ron received a couple of pieces of art from Joyce at the first reunion last October.

The men said they became quick friends, but probably overloaded Ron with information, Bret said.

“We all felt like Ron was deprived of information,” Tim said.

A visit to Kansas City two weeks ago included more stories and continued to solidify the relationship between the four men and Joyce. The family reunion also included Jason, Tim's son.

“Ron is the son who looks and sounds closest to Granddad,” Jason said.

More similarities also emerged in the second visit. Lyn said the men, who all love cars, as did Hampton, visited the I-70 Speedway.

“It is more comfortable this time around,” Ron said. “We are becoming a family. They want me to know Roy through them, and I am getting to know him.”

“There really is no change in family dynamics,” Bill said. “We have more family and subsequently more life.”

Birth order has not affected the brothers either.

“The worst competition is on telling stories about Dad to Ron,” Tim said.

Bret said the brothers now have a permanent relationship.

“This is a family bond that this will last,” he said.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
George Leroy (Roy) Hampton (1923-1997) was a realist painter of Western portraits, landscapes, and horses in action.  He liked Western movies, and they helped fuel his love for Western art.

Hampton served in the Submarine Service at Pearl Harbor during World War Two, and in the late 1940s was an animator for Walt Disney Studios.  He tried several career paths, including law school, judo teacher, carpenter, salesman and vice president of a mortgage company.  In 1972, he became a full-time artist, traveling the American West in a motor home with his wife, Ann.
 
He won gold medals in a competition with CAA (Cowboy Artists of America) and NAWA (National Association of Western Artists) artists, and at the 1981 American Indian and Cowboy Artists show. One of his works hangs in the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Hampton considered among his greatest honors the opportunity to paint John Wayne and spend a day with a medicine man.  Over the years he mentored up and coming artists such as Jim Daly and counted Jay Silverheels (Tonto) and Iron Eyes Cody among his numerous Indian friends.

He was featured in Southwest Art, August 1981.


Source:
Bret Hampton, son of the artist, August 2005

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