I am saddened to only now learn of Leonards passing. I am overjoyed though knowing he was a believer in Jesus Christ.
I am 59 now and remember when I started Deer hunting around 17 years old I absorbed every book and magazine I could get. Lennie Rue was so often featured and I marveled at his photography. ( I thought it funny we had the same name too!)
He faith, and love of wildlife matched my own feelings. I knew someday I wanted to be able to photograph wildlife as he did and consider him an inspiration to now living that dream.
His message on the home page of his website is how I have felt all my life. These animals and birds point to a Creator. There is no other believable explanation.
I know he touched many with his work. I was one of those people.
I can only hope to be a fraction of the Photographer he was.
I know this is late but my deepest condolences to Uschi, Len Jr and the rest of Leonard's family.
Leonard was one of the most colorful (always in a camouflage clothing), enthusiastic and knowledgeable professional photographer/writer/naturist I have ever known. His knowledge was encyclopedic on many different wildlife topics.
He was my mentor both before and after I arrived in Denali. Before meeting him and arriving in Denali for my first season in early June of 1987, I had literally and repeatedly consumed Leonard’s book: How I Photograph Wildlife and Nature - See: https://www.amazon.com/How-I-Photograph-Wildlife-Nature/dp/0393019071
In the early to mid 80’s, there was very little information specifically on wildlife/nature photography. This book would become my bible as would his columns in Outdoor Photographer.
Later, I would meet him for the first time in the early 1990’s and where we would photograph Dall Sheep (with me carrying his tripod) into Savage River Canyon and many other subjects during his stay.
Leonard would take me with him on his photo permit on eight different occasions in one season where I would update him on wildlife sightings and he would share his knowledge about wildlife and photography with me. There was no better or more enthusiastic or more generous teacher.
He had recently switched from still, (film) photography to filming video and was just as excited to visit all of the worldwide locations he had previously visited to shoot video.
He would make several trips to Denali until his final one in the early 2000’s. We lost track of one another after that, but I always valued his friendship and knowledge that he shared with me.
Denali National Park, Alaska
325 Hardwick Street
Belvidere, New Jersey 07823
Thomas J. Balka, Manager, N.J. Lic No. 3588