The following is a very short biography.
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Born February 6, 1897, in the Province of Podolia, Ukraine (Russia). Leon went to school in Odessa. Graduated at Moscow University in literature, languages, and philosophy. Started writing Russian poetry at the age of 12. Leon's early poems were influenced by Russian symbolists, and he published his first volume of Russian poetry in 1914. He won first prize in the 1918 All-Russian Poetry Competition. Served three years as an officer (Captain) in the Red Army. Was captured by Denikin and escaped in 1920, made his way to Palestine and then emigrated to the United States. He continued writing in Russian, but also began writing in Yiddish. Leon joined the writing staff of the Yiddish daily Freiheit, and the monthly Der Hamer. He became a feature writer (and later city editor) for The Day-Jewish Journal(Der Tug). Leon served as president of the Yiddish PEN Club. A leader of the Proletarian group in Yiddish poetry in America. Leon wrote 15 novels as well as numerous unpublished writings. Copies of his work have been donated to the YIVO Institute. English translations of his work are to be found in Joseph Leftwich's, The Golden Peacock (1940), and J. B. Cooperman's America in Yiddish Poetry (1967). Leon was married to Florence Weingarten and they had 5 children: Gerald, Babette, Rita, Harriet, and Norman, and 6 grandchildren: Elizabeth, Scott, Jeremy, Mara, Douglas, and Marc. Leon passed away January 22, 1969.
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