Laurence Leonard was a longtime sports editor of the Richmond News Leader from 1947 to 1968. During his tenure, the Richmond area watched local sports go beyond high school competition.
Leonard began his promotion of local sports in North Carolina, where as reporter with the Greensboro Daily News, he proposed and helped established the Greater Greensboro Open. Leonard was sports editor at the Daily News in the late 1930’s before coming to work for the Times-Dispatch in 1942 as a sports reporter.
World War II interrupted his career as Leonard joined the Army and began writing a weekly column in Stars and Stripes. He earned the Legion of Merit for morale building by organizing a service football playoff called the Pyramid Bowl in Cairo, Egypt. After returning from the war, he became sports information director for the College of William and Mary, before being named sports editor of The News Leader in 1947.
In 1997, he was honored as one of the first five recipients of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame’s Media Award. Leonard worked with the Virginia Crime Commission, eventually becoming director before retiring in the mid 80’s. He also wrote on a freelance basis for Senior Golfer Magazine. In Williamsburg, he founded Historic Triangle Transportation Service for the disabled, which he sold in 1995.