Donald Dean Leopard, 66, professor emeritus at Buffalo State College, died Wednesday (Oct. 30, 1996) in his Town of Tonawanda home after a brief illness.
He was born in Miami County, Ohio, and served in Germany as a U.S. Air Force intelligence specialist during the Korean War.
After his military service, he pursued an academic career in history, receiving his doctorate at Ohio State University and doing his post-doctoral studies at Columbia University. He joined the history department at Buffalo State College in 1963. During his tenure, he served on the College Senate and as chairman of the history department.
He was a popular and innovative instructor and wrote extensively on a wide variety of subjects. His works included "World War II: A Concise History," a textbook used by many colleges and universities, and numerous articles.
Leopard presented papers to a wide range of historical conferences and forums, including the Association of African Historians held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he met Hailie Selassie, the Ethiopian emperor.
He also was a guest lecturer at Roberts University in Istanbul, Turkey. In 1971, Leopard was awarded a Fulbright professorship to teach at the University of Louvanium in Kinshasa, Zaire, for one year. He also received numerous grants for research in the archives of London, Paris and Tananarive, Madagascar.
In 1989, he received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. A highly regarded expert on 19th- and 20th-century history, he appeared on local radio and television shows and was a consultant in the production of documentary films.
Before his retirement in 1994, Leopard arranged a Fulbright exchange with the cooperation of Buffalo State College for a professor from Tanzania.
Leopard served in many community associations, including the Advisory Board of the Red Cross Buffalo Chapter, the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, the Buffalo Literary Clinic and the Sons of the American Revolution.
After retiring, he remained active, traveling, painting, writing fiction and non-fiction and successfully achieving a purple belt in martial arts.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara J.; two daughters, Ann Di Fiore of Vienna, Va., and Melissa; a son, Matthew of Alexandria, Va.; a brother, William of Ohio; and three grandchildren.