Professor Joseph Leech

Years at the college: 1950 - 1970

B.A. University of Oklahoma 1927
M.S. University of Oklahoma 1928
Ph.D. Yale University 1947

Joseph Samuel Leech (1904 - 1978 ) was born in Carnegie, Oklahoma. After earning a masters degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1928, he tried his hand as an actuary for the American Insurance Company (1928-1933). With five years of statistical experience, he moved on to Phillips Petroleum Company where he was an engineer until 1936. Then it was back to academic life: first teaching at the University of Texas (1937-1940), and later at Yale University (1941-1947). He earned his doctorate at Yale and spent three years as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago before coming to Colorado College in 1950. According to one of his students, Leech was very shy, but a superb teacher who encouraged all who liked mathematics.

Leech was chair of the department for most of his time at the college. He wrote numerous papers and co-authored a book titled Fundamentals of Mathematics. In September of 1970, after one month of the newly devised block plan academic schedule, Professor Leech decided it was time to retire. He moved to Oklahoma City in 1976 and died there on March 28, 1978, two days before his 74th birthday.

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