Emmy Award winning filmmaker Mike Leonard joined NBC News in 1980, and has traveled across America and around the world in search of stories that define our lives. In addition to his regular Today show features, Mike’s stories have appeared on NBC Nightly News, Dateline, NBC Sports, MSNBC, Showtime and PBS. He has covered political conventions, presidential inaugurations, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, championship boxing, the Golden Globes – and so much more. International assignments have taken him to Australia, China, Korea, Europe, the British Isles -- and he has ventured forth on modes of transportation ranging from horses to oil rigs and Air Force supersonic jets. But most often, Mike can be found roaming the overlooked territory of everyday American life, finding the true characters and humorous situations that color our days.
In 1989, Mike Leonard pioneered a broadcasting model when he was the first and only television network correspondent to research, produce, shoot, write, and edit all of his own stories. While unprecedented at the time, Mike’s independent and innovative style of reporting now has emerged as a valued model in the battle to cover the news in an effective and cost efficient manner.
In 2004, Mike took his aging and eccentric parents on a one- month, cross-country RV adventure that became the basis of a Today show series, a New York Times best-selling book, and a twelve episode public television show, The Ride of Our Lives. Mike was nominated for a prestigious Quill Award in the category of Debut Author of the Year.
While he retired from NBC in December, 2012, Mike continues his prolific storytelling. His newest project – inCommon - is a public television and online series that focuses on aspects of life we all share in common: Time, Hope, Awe, Perseverance – to name a few. Mike co-creates inCommon with the Emmy Award winning Mary Kay Wall. Leonard and Wall have also created many documentaries: Old St. Patrick’s: A Renaissance Story (2014), Newton Minow: An American Story (2015), Crossroads (2016), and The Promise of Providence (2016), It’s Up to Us (2018), Global Generation (2018). All are produced by his family company, Picture Show Films in Chicago.
Mike Leonard received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970 from Providence College where he played Division One varsity hockey. Born on November 30, 1947 in Paterson, New Jersey, Mike has lived most of his life in the Chicago area. He and his wife Cathy are the parents of two daughters and two sons, and are the grandparents of eight children.