Leon Katzen was born in the Bronx, New York City, 93 years ago. He attended Townsend Harris High School, a preparatory high school which led to admission to City College of New York (CCNY). There was no tuition to matriculate to CCNY back then. Without a free tuition, Leon would not have been able to go to college. He attended Brooklyn Law School and worked nights. He was admitted to the New York Bar in January, 1942. Several days later, he entered the US Army as a private, being separated from the Army in the fall of 1945 as a captain.
Leon served in the European Theater of operations (France and Germany), as a commander of an eight inch Howitzer (artillery) Battery with 139 men and 4 officers. He received five battle stars and was the recipient of a Purple Heart. Leon arrived at Dachau Concentration Camp the second day of the liberation. The sight of innumerable bodies piled high and the emaciation of those still alive seared Leon's conscience to this day. Most of his men were shaken by the experience and hated the Germans.
Upon his return to the United States, Leon opened a law office in New York City in 1945. He married Betty Heller Katzen on March 30, 1946. They relocated to Rochester, New York where Leon co-started a law firm in 1950 - Lacy Katzen LLP, which now has 80 personnel. He and Betty have four children, Joshua, Mollie, Daniel and Ezra, and ten grandchildren. Ezra and his family live in Israel. Joshua and his family live in Newton, Massachusetts. Mollie and her family are domiciled in Berkeley, California. Daniel and his family are residents of Tucson, Arizona.