Bruce N. Leonard ’63

Bruce N. Leonard ’63 died on March 31, 2021, in Providence, Rhode Island

(The following was provided by the Watson Funeral Home on March 21, 2021)

Bruce N. Leonard

Bruce Nelson Leonard, age 79, passed away peacefully on March 31, 2021, in Providence, RI.

Bruce was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, to Everett and Theresa Leonard. He graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Caldwell, N.J., and was president of the class of 1959. He was a member of the Bowdoin College Class of 1963, graduating with a major in government. He was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and was among the members of the first group from Bowdoin to participate in an exchange with Morehouse College. Following graduation, he was inducted into the U.S. Marine Corps as a lieutenant in the infantry, serving for three years in Quantico, VA.; Okinawa, Japan; Vieques, Puerto Rico; and Camp Lejeune. After leaving the Marine Corps, he enrolled in Harvard Business School and received an MBA in 1968.

Bruce began what became a life-long career in advertising at Ogilvy and Mather as a media planner in New York, working directly with David Ogilvy, who was known in the industry as the “Father of Advertising.” He went on to become manager of advertising for the Hathaway Shirt Company. In 1973, he relocated with his young family to Barrington, Rhode Island, to begin a position as vice president and account executive with the Horton, Church and Goff Agency in Providence. In 1978 Bruce partnered with two co-workers, Tom Monahan and Bob Saabye,  to create the Leonard Monahan Saabye Agency, which became a national award-winning advertising firm. LMS, later known as Leonard/Monahan produced successful campaigns for marketers such as Polaroid, Keds, and Sylvania, among many others, plus divisions of IBM, Nike, Fidelity, and more.

Bruce was name Rhode Island Ad Person of the Year in 1982. In 1986, the agency was recognized as New England Ad Agency of the Year.

In recent years, Bruce taught marketing as an adjunct instructor at Johnson and Wales University and later at Roger Williams University, where he taught until the spring of 2020. He also continued his involvement in his field as a partner at Talk to Me Studios from 2009 until 2020.

Bruce was an avid sailor who caught the sailing bug in Puerto Rico. He drafted family members into service as crew for day sailing and racing events in Bristol, Rhode Island, and owned a series of crafts during his lifetime. He enjoyed hockey and followed the New York Rangers.

He served as board member of Bradley Hospital and Rhode Island YMCAs.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Christine Vanstone Leonard, of Riverside, RI; his children with his first wife, Elizabeth Hanks Leonard – Zachary and his wife, Alice, Jessica and her husband, Orinbasar, Mathew and his wife, Katherin, and Ethan, and the children of his second wife, Christine Leonard – Brittany and her husband, Alex, and Kristen; stepchildren Jessica and Tiffany Vanstone; siblings Linda J. Glaeser, Jill Leonard Whittle, and Richard N. Leonard; ten grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Bruce was pre-deceased by his sister, Brenda Wambough.

1 Comment Bruce N. Leonard ’63

  1. Hannah Clark

    Bruce Leonard was my Marketing Professor in the Spring of 2020. I had him in person for the first half of the semester and then we were suddenly sent home. From the moment I met him I wanted to know about his story but I was shy. I resonated with so much that he had to say. I waited until he came to me. When he did he told me in response to a quiz essay, “I hope you realise that seeing things differently is a gift, and in business , a very sought after gift. ” He was the only professor that I felt could truly read my flowery writing. He was impactful in my college career. I thought this reminiscence from a total stranger could be meaningful to his family and friends. He was a very powerful man and I wish his family continued love and light through his memory.


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