Early Years - Lincoln High School
H. O. Cook, Principal of Lincoln H.S.
from the Lincoln High School 1925 yearbook
||(AUDIO) RealMedia: 28kbps,
Getting in trouble and being taken in by H.O. Cook. From there
to show business forever.
Leonard credits H. O. Cook with saving him from a wasted life. Leonard
was a hard-luck kid in court and on his way to reform school when
Cook spotted him and took him in to raise and educate. Cook was a
man who took very personal responsibility for the kids in his community.
You could probably say "they don't make 'em like that anymore,"
except that I suspect "they" have never made 'em like that
in any great quantities at any time in anybody's history.
A page from the 1925 Lincoln H.S. yearbook. Leonard was on the basketball
team. He is in the group in the middle picture. (see below)
Here is a close-up of the picture in the middle of the page. Leonard
is the small kid, third from the left.