AGE -- 60
POSITION -- Proprietor of Crescent Office Machine Co., and Superior Window Fashion, in the District.
HOME -- Zip Code 20018, in D.C.'s Woodridge neighborhood, east of Catholic University, near the Prince George's County line.
LIFE STORY -- Leeks was born in rural Frederick County, Md., in 1927. His father was a farm hand and also worked for the B&O Railroad, keeping coal fires banked overnight in the steam locomotives. At the age of 16, Leeks visited an aunt in Washington, who introduced him to the religion of Islam, which he adopted.
In 1951, citing the tenets of his religion and his conscience, Leeks refused to register for the draft, was prosecuted, and wound up in Danbury Federal Penitentiary with a sentence of one to four years. There he was given an aptitude test for the first time. It was discovered that he was mechanically gifted, and he was put in a typewriter repair class where he was soon joined by his cousin, Earl Washington, who had received a two-to-five-year sentence on the same charge. They were ultimately paroled, but not before being certified by the state of Connecticut as master typewriter repairmen.
They returned to the District where they went to work for Central Typewriter Co. During the seven years he worked there, Leeks recalls, as a devout Muslim he would fondly chastise his boss, who was Jewish, when he caught the boss eating the occasional ham sandwich.
In 1960, the two cousins quit their secure jobs to form their own company, Crescent Office Machine Co. That company now has accounts that include the repair of all the typewriters and adding machines for one of the largest private employers in the District. Recently, a spin-off company, Superior Window Fashion, refurbished every venetian blind in the State Department. Leeks, the former farm boy, has become an avid golfer.
FAMILY -- Leeks just celebrated his 36th year of marriage to his wife Alice. They have 10 children, three of whom work in the family businesses. Others and their spouses now work for the likes of NBC, MCI, Potomac Electric Power Co., American Security Bank and Merrill Lynch. There are 15 grandchildren. The elder Leeks live in a brick five-bedroom house on a tree-lined street in Northeast Washington.