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His Life

Alvin Eugene Leonard, Esq.

March 29, 2011
Alvin Eugene Leonard was born in Harlem, New York on September 20, 1951. He was the second of four sons born to the late William Eugene Leonard and Agnes Thelma Leonard.

Alvin spent his youth growing up in the James Weldon Johnson projects in Manhattan where he enjoyed an active childhood, loving parents and caring teachers.   He was a second generation member of the Mount Morris Presbyterian church where his passion for public service first blossomed.

He successfully completed his secondary education in 1969 as an honor student at Theodore Roosevelt High School where his scholastic record earned him a four-year scholarship to Fordham University.  There he emerged as a leader among his fellow students enlightening them to the issues of the day and stirring their consciousness.  He was the President of African American student organization (SAAL) his junior and senior year.

After graduating from Fordham with distinction, he pursued post graduate studies at Rutgers University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1976.  He began his professional career at Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Legal Services in Brooklyn where he sharpened his legal skill while serving those least able to protect themselves.  He later formed a successful partnership (Torres & Leonard) with longtime friend and classmate Jose Luis Torres.

Alvin enjoyed a stellar reputation in the legal community.  He loved the law and fiercely carried out its mission.  He dedicated himself to fairness and equality and was instrumental in nurturing and advancing the careers of many.  As an active member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, he passionately contributed to its many causes.

Today we not only commemorate but celebrate the life of a truly gifted man taken from us suddenly.  His commitment, leadership and affinity for helping others, often at his own expense, will be remembered by all who knew him.  He has left an indelible mark that each of us will carry in our own special way.  

He is survived by his three brothers William Christopher, George Eric and Robert Andrew; sisters-in-law Patricia and Susan; niece Ashley; Aunts Martha Wilson and Marion Leonard and a host of cousins, god children and devoted friends.

Although we bid farewell to Alvin, we can take solace in knowing that he lived his life his way, unwilling to compromise, determined to stay the course.  

We love him and will certainly miss him. Through God’s grace, he now joins our ancestors.  Let us honor his legacy by reflecting the values and principles by which he lived.  Let his good deeds extend from one generation to the next.  In so doing, we pay true homage to this remarkable man, honoring his eternal spirit.