The pink flamingo lawn ornament was created by Donald Featherstone in 1957. Featherstone was assigned the task of creating an injection-molded, flamingo-shaped decoration by Union Products shortly after being hired. The company specialized in plastic lawn ornaments, but none were ever as popular as the pink flamingo.
Don Featherstone was an academically trained sculptor who made plastic decorations while still in art school. One of his first assignments for Union Products was a three-dimensional plastic duck. For this, he worked off of a live model he bough specifically for the project, and meticulously drew live studies for 6 months.
Living in Massachusetts, he was unable to acquire a flamingo for his most famous project. Instead, he used photographs as a source and finished the flamingo design in 5 weeks. He went on to make over 750 designs for Union Products and become vice president of the company, before retiring in 2000. There are more plastic flamingos in the U.S. than real ones, as of 2014.