Although he was born in the Bronx and raised in Massachusetts, Bob Leonard had early roots in the Tampa Bay area for his mother dancer/movie actress Verona Dawnay Kiralfy (Nona Kay) wed Lt. Marston S. Leonard, an officer at Drew Field in Tampa. He grew up in Framingham, Massachusetts, a state where the Leonard family started the American iron industry in the 1640s.

 

Seventeen years later Bob returned to Florida as a student at the University of Miami where he was an editor of the All-American Hurricane Student newspaper and worked for George Gallet in Sports Information. He then attended the University of South Florida where he was a fraternity Vice-President, member of the USF Fraternity Council, and a charter member of Gold Key Honors.

 

He received his Masters in History with a minor in Student Services at Florida State University, where he was an assistant to Bill Bunker in Sports Information and had many roles even as announcer at FSU athletic events. He would later obtain an Ed.S. degree in Higher Education Curriculum and Administration in a dual FSU-U of Florida program.

 

After two years teaching seniors at Manatee High School in Bradenton, he joined a new community college in Tampa. In his four decades at Hillsborough Community College he saw the school grow from 800 to 41,000 students. Heading a district-wide cluster for 15 years and serving on committees that developed programs, recruited corporate sponsors, and hired faculty and staff, he has handled many grant and training projects. He worked with TECO, USAA, Group Technologies, and other firms.

 

He was hired by the State of Florida as project historian to inventory all historic buildings in the county for historic consideration and to establish a Ybor City Historic State Historic District. Always serving the community, he has served on the boards for the Tampa Historical Society, the Ybor City Museum, several scholarship foundations, PTA Vice-President, and more. He and his wife had the pleasure of coaching their daughter's high school team to a state championship.

 

He has written many articles, book reviews, and reports all related to Florida and was a featured contributor to the Florida Sunshine Almanac and Focus on Florida. He was served as a textbook consultant and writer for Prentice-Hall and recently as content editor for McGraw-Hill's Florida textbook social studies series. His favorite writing event was his translation of his grandfather's autobiography into a book on the development of American musical spectacles Bolossy Kiralfy.

 

M. C. Bob Leonard is married to Barbara Ann McMillion of Tampa; they have two children, Priscilla Ann and Robert. They live in South Tampa.

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