Frederick C. LEONARD

Family tree of Frederick C. LEONARD

Astronomer, Geographer

AmericanBorn Frederick Charles LEONARD

American astronomer

Born on March 12, 1896 in Mount Vernon, Indiana, USA , United States

Died on June 23, 1960 in Los Angeles, California, USA

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Leonard was born in Mount Vernon, Indiana and moved with his family to Chicago in about 1900, eventually settling near the University of Chicago. From the age of eight, he showed great interest in the stars and by early adolescence had become an active amateur astronomer. In 1909 he attended the annual meeting of the Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America, held at the Yerkes Observatory. The same year, he organized the Society for Practical Astronomy (SPA), a national amateur organization. Leonard's leadership raised concerns among professional astronomers as not all were in favor of amateur contributions to the profession. Nonetheless, the organization flourished until Leonard's departure in 1919.

Leonard was a prolific writer and by the age of 14 had attracted the attention of numerous publishers. He authored a year-long series of articles titled "Mr. Leonard's Star Colors" in the English Mechanic and World of Science. A Chicago Tribune reporter characterized him as a "co-worker with such savants as Prof. F. R. Moulton" and Francis P. Leavenworth.


After graduating from Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Leonard completed his Bachelor and Masters degrees at the University of Chicago. He continued his graduate education at the University of California, Berkeley with Armin Leuschner, being awarded his Ph.D. in 1922 for his thesis "An Investigation of the Spectra of Visual Double Stars".

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Geographical origins

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