Leonard Randolph (August 1, 1926 – March 20, 1993) was born in Leon, IA, and joined the US Army at age 18, serving as a combat infantryman in the Pacific during World War II. At the war’s end, he was transferred to the Public Information Section in Korea. Returning to the US, he attended Drake University, but never graduated, moving to New York to pursue acting. He soon found himself in government service instead, working as a speech writer for Pennsylvania Governor David Lawrence and as an administrator for Representative Fred B. Rooney (PA-D).
Randolph assisted in the creation of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities, and worked at the National Endowment for the Arts from 1965 to 1979, rising to become director of literature programs. He considered the establishment of the Writers in the Schools program one of his major achievements. He also was instrumental in starting a grant line to fund small presses.
Randolph was the author of two books of poems, Scar Tissue (Some Of Us Press, 1973) and Wind Over Ashes (Carolina Wren Press, 1982). He acted in professional summer stock theater, and directed and produced plays. In 1991, he retired to Port Townsend, WA, where he was in the first group of writing fellows supported by the Centrum Foundation. He died two years later, at age 66. Married and divorced, he is the father of two children.