Leonard Kurz was born in Brooklyn and later moved to Rockland County, NY. He graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in History and from Stanford University with an M.A. in Film and Television Production.
Leonard is the president and creative force of Forest Creatures Entertainment, a motion picture, television, and new media production company established in 1993. In 2007, Forest Creatures Entertainment produced Kitka & Davka in Concert: Old & New World Jewish Music, which has been broadcast extensively on the PBS network. Leonard is the producer, director, and writer of Free the Children (feature length documentary, in production) and Accused of Being Communist (television documentary, in post-production); a co-producer of Maangamizi: The Ancient One, the first film from Tanzania to be considered for an Academy Award; and the producer, director, and writer of Early Misgivings. He has been a script reader for Francis Ford Coppola.
Mr. Kurz serves as a director and officer of the Kurz Family Foundation. He played a significant role in establishing the two endowed professorships at Brooklyn College — the Herbert Kurz Chair in Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties and the Herbert Kurz Chair of Finance and Risk Management — as well as the mentorship program for African-American and Latino male Brooklyn College students. He was a founding director (United States board) of Free the Children, an international organization which has the unique mission of creating a global network of children helping children through education. Mr. Kurz is a founding member of the SUNY Chancellor’s Society and has received awards for his philanthropic work. Additional nonprofit affiliations include: director and officer, Frederic Ewen Foundation; member of the NYU Advisory Board of the Frederic Ewen Center; board member (former) and advisor (current), Free the Children USA; founder, HYLA (Hudson Youth Leadership Academy); recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Award, Martin Luther King, Jr. Multipurpose Center, Spring Valley, NY; recipient of Special Recognition by the Susan G. and Edmund W. Gordon Community Partnership and CEJJES Foundation (the founders of the latter also being founders of Head Start); and Rockland Development Council’s Outstanding Philanthropist.