Leo [Lat.,=the lion], northern constellation lying S of Ursa Major and on the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun through the heavens) between Cancer and Virgo; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Arabs, and Greeks all represented this constellation as a lion; it may be the first constellation to be pictorially represented. The most famous star in Leo is Regulus (Alpha Leonis). The western part of the constellation is a curved line known as the Sickle; it represents the lion's head. The main constellation terminates in Denebola (Beta Leonis), the Lion's Tail. The meteor showers known as the Leonids appear to come from this constellation. Leo reaches its highest point in the evening sky in April.
Sowerby, Leo, 1895-1968, American composer and organist, b. Grand Rapids, Mich. Sowerby studied at the American Conservatory, Chicago, and with Percy Grainger. In 1921 an American Prix de Rome was created to enable him to study in Rome. In 1925 he became teacher of composition at the American Conservatory and in 1927 organist and choirmaster of St. James Episcopal Church, Chicago. A prolific composer, he wrote such important works as A Set of Four (1917), Symphony in B Minor (1927), and Symphony in F Sharp Minor (1940), for orchestra; a concerto (1938), for organ and orchestra; the oratorios The Vision of Sir Launfal (1925) and The Canticle of the Sun (1944); and Symphony in G (1932), for organ.
Friedlander, Leo, 1890-1966, American sculptor, b. New York City, studied in New York, Paris, Brussels, and at the American Academy in Rome. His many decorative works include sculptures on Washington Memorial Arch, Valley Forge, Pa.; reliefs for the National Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.; the main central pediment of the Museum of the City of New York; facades for the Jefferson County (Ala.) Courthouse; groups for the RCA (now GE) Building, Rockefeller Center, New York City; and statues for the Oregon state capitol.
Frobenius, Leo, 1873-1938, German archaeologist and anthropologist. An authority on prehistoric art and culture, especially of Africa, he organized 12 expeditions to Africa between 1904 and 1935. In 1922 he founded the Institute for Cultural Morphology, Frankfurt, where he established a noted collection of facsimiles of prehistoric paintings and engravings. He also dealt with living African cultures and their folklore. He wrote The Voice of Africa (tr. 1913) and was coauthor (in English) of Prehistoric Rock Pictures in Europe and Africa (1937).
Caprivi, Leo, Graf von, 1831-99, German chancellor, whose full name was Georg Leo, Graf von Caprivi de Caprara de Montecuculi. A former army officer and head of the admiralty, he succeeded (1890) Bismarck as chancellor. Under him the antisocialist law was abrogated and military service was shortened from three to two years. Favoring industrial over agrarian interests, he negotiated (1892-94) a series of reciprocal trade agreements to stimulate industrial exports. The agreements reduced duties on agricultural products and aroused agrarian opposition to Caprivi, which contributed to his dismissal (1894). Prince Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst succeeded him as chancellor.
Tolstoy, Leo, Count, Rus. Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoi (lyĕf), 1828-1910, Russian novelist and philosopher, considered one of the world's greatest writers.

Early Life

Of a noble family, Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana, his parents' estate near Tula. Orphaned at nine, he was brought up by his aunts and privately tutored. At 16 he was sent to the Univ. of Kazan, where he studied languages and law. His classes bored him, and he left without a degree. He returned to his estate in 1849 and made several abortive attempts to aid and educate the serfs there. Tolstoy then began a profligate life in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Early Works

In 1851 Tolstoy followed his brother into army service in the Caucasus, where he wrote Childhood (1852). This became the first part of an autobiographical trilogy, which includes Boyhood (1854) and Youth (1857). In 1854 he took part in the defense of Sevastopol, descriptions of which were published in Nekrasov's journal The Contemporary, attracting considerable attention for their unvarnished picture of war. He left army service in 1855 and for several years divided his time between his estate and the literary circles of St. Petersburg. His diary of the period reveals his intense dissatisfaction with his libertine existence. He set up a school for peasant children on his estate, emphasizing a spontaneous approach to learning. When his school proved impractical, he visited Western Europe and there began to question the bases of modern civilization.

In 1862 Tolstoy married Sophia Andreyevna Bers, a young, well-educated woman who bore him 13 children. His candor concerning his infidelities and his harsh conception of her wifely duties contributed to the instability of their marriage. During this time he wrote The Cossacks (1863) and his masterpieces War and Peace (1862-69) and Anna Karenina (1873-76). War and Peace is a vast prose epic of the Napoleonic invasion of 1812. It illustrates Tolstoy's view of history as proceeding inexorably to its own ends, a view in which mankind appears as an accidental instrument. This thesis is conveyed by a stream of brilliantly conceived characters and incidents. Anna Karenina, his most popular work, concerns the tragedy of a woman's faith in romantic love.

Later Life and Works

About 1876 the doubts that had beset Tolstoy since youth, fed by his puritan temperament in conflict with his sensuality, gathered force. The result of his painful self-examination was his conversion to the doctrine of Christian love and acceptance of the principle of nonresistance to evil. The steps in his conversion are set forth in his Confession (1879). For the rest of his life Tolstoy dedicated himself to the practice and propagation of his new faith, which he expounded in a series of works, among them A Short Exposition of the Gospels (1881), What I Believe In (1882), What Then Must We Do? (1886), and The Law of Love and the Law of Violence (1908).

Tolstoy preached nonviolence and a Rousseauistic simplicity of life. He was an anarchist to the extent that he considered wrong all organizations based on the premise of force, including both the government and the church. A Tolstoy cult grew up in Russia and abroad, and his estate became a place of pilgrimage. Because of his prestige the government did not interfere with his activities, although the Russian Church excommunicated him in 1901.

Moral questions are central to Tolstoy's later works, which include the story "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" (1884), the drama The Power of Darkness (1886), and the novel The Kreutzer Sonata (1889). To his last period belongs the essay What Is Art? (1897-98), in which he argued for the moral responsibility of the artist to make his work understandable to most people; he denounced acknowledged masterpieces, including his own earlier works. His last works also include the novels Hadji Murad (1896-1904) and Resurrection (1899-1900) and the drama The Living Corpse (pub. 1911).

Tolstoy's insistence on putting his beliefs into practice and abandoning all earthly goods led to a permanent breach between himself and his wife. His children, with the exception of the youngest daughter, Alexandra, sided with their mother. In 1910, at 83, Tolstoy left home with Alexandra without a specific destination. He caught a chill and died at the railroad stationmaster's house at Astapovo.


Tolstoy's works are available in many English translations. See also the reminiscences of his wife, Sophia (tr. 1928 and 1936); his children Sergei (tr. 1926), Tatiana (tr. 1951), Ilya (tr. 1971), and Alexandra (tr. 1953, repr. 1973); his friends M. Gorky (tr. 1920), A. B. Goldenweizer (tr. 1923, repr. 1969), V. Bulgakov (tr. 1971), and V. G. Chertkov (tr. 1922, repr. 1973); biographies by A. Maude (1931), E. J. Simmons (1946), and H. Troyat (tr. 1967); collections of critical essays, ed. by R. E. Matlaw (1967) and by H. Gifford (1972); I. Berlin, The Hedgehog and the Fox (1953); W. L. Shirer, Love and Hatred: The Troubled Marriage of Leo and Sonya Tolstoy (1994).

Burnett, Leo, 1891-1971, American advertising executive, b. St. Johns, Mich., grad. Univ. of Michigan (1914). He was a newspaper reporter and worked in advertising before moving to Chicago and opening (1935) his own ad agency, Leo Burnett Co., which he headed until 1967. Crafting ad campaigns that emphasized brand image, focused on the highly visual, stressed the essential quality of a product, and established strong emotional ties with the consumer, he was a prime developer of advertising's "Chicago school." Burnett's company was especially known for the creation, in the 1950s and 60s, of commercial icons that were particularly suited to symbolizing various products on the new medium of television. These included such characters as the Marlboro Man, the Jolly Green Giant, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Morris the Cat, and Tony the Tiger.

See his Communications of an Advertising Man (1961) and 100 Leo's (1995).

Strauss, Leo, 1899-1973, American philosopher, b. Hesse, Germany. Strauss fled the Nazis and in 1938 came to the United States, where he taught at the New School in New York City (1938-48) and the Univ. of Chicago (1949-68). He is known for his often controversial interpretations of political philosophers, including Xenophon, Plato, Maimonides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, and the framers of America's Constitution. He also wrote an influential critique of modern political philosophy, i.e., philosophy since Machiavelli, arguing that it suffers from an inability to make value judgments about political regimes, even about obviously odious ones. As a model for how political philosophy should proceed, Strauss held up the work of the Ancients, i.e., Xenephon and Plato. He defended the antihistoricist position that it is possible for a person to grasp the thought of philosophers of different eras on their own terms, i.e., unencumbered by presuppositions inherent in his own historical context. An influential teacher and philosopher, Strauss has been seen by some as the philosophical father of modern political neoconservatism, a theory that has been widely repudiated. Strauss's works include Natural Right and History (1952), Thoughts on Machiavelli (1958), and The City and Man (1964).

See S. B. Drury, The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss (1987); S. B. Smith, Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism (2007).

Szilard, Leo, 1898-1964, American nuclear physicist and biophysicist, born in Hungary. He was educated at the Budapest Institute of Technology and the Univ. of Berlin, receiving a doctorate from the latter in 1922. Working at the Univ. of Chicago with Enrico Fermi, he developed the first self-sustained nuclear reactor based on uranium fission. Szilard was one of the first to realize that nuclear chain reactions could be used in bombs and was instrumental in urging the U.S. government to prepare the first atomic bomb, but he later actively protested nuclear warfare and supported the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Esaki, Leo, 1925-, Japanese physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Tokyo, 1959. Esaki was a researcher with IBM from 1960 until his retirement in 1992. He then served (1992-98) as president of the Univ. of Tsukuba in Japan, and in 2000 accepted a five-year appointment as president of the Shibaura Institute of Technology. Esaki received the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Ivar Giaever and Brian Josephson, for his discovery in 1958 of the phenomenon of electron tunneling—in which an electron passes through a narrow region of a solid, where classical theory predicts it could not pass—in semiconductors. He exploited this effect to create the tunnel, or Esaki, diode, which has been used in a number of electronics applications, including microwave devices and computers.
Slezak, Leo, 1873-1946, Czech tenor, pupil of Jean de Reszke. After his debut as Lohengrin at Brno in 1896, he sang in Vienna, Berlin, and later at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City (1909-12). He was famous for his robust voice and physique, and he had a flamboyant sense of humor.

See his memoirs (1928, tr. 1937); biography by his son, the actor Walter Slezak (1962).

Baeck, Leo, 1873-1956, German rabbi and scholar. He studied at the conservative Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau and then at the liberal Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin, also attending the universities of Breslau and Berlin; at Berlin he studied philosophy under Wilhelm Dilthey. He held positions as rabbi in Oppeln (1897-1907), Düsseldorf (1907-12), and Berlin (1912-43). In 1943 he was sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. After being liberated in 1945, he moved to London, becoming president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism; he also taught occasionally at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. Baeck's works in English translation include The Essence of Judaism (1905, tr. 1936), The Pharisees and Other Essays (1947), and Judaism and Christianity (1958). In This People Israel (1955, tr. 1965), he propounded his belief in the eternal dialectical polarity between "mystery" and "command," the latter being the divine instructions that give concrete expression to the "mystery" in terms of man's obligations to others, which he defined as piety.

See A. H. Friedlander, Leo Baeck, Teacher of Theresienstadt (1968).

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See also

  • Leo (disambiguation)

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