Leach received an M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1918 and a Ph.D. degree from the same institution in 1922 under the direction of E. C. Stakman. During his career, Leach was a faculty member at the Colorado Agriculture College and the University of Minnesota and served as head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Bacteriology from 1938 to 1960 at West Virginia University. Leach was a pioneer in insect transmission of plant diseases and theories of parasitism, beginning with a paper in 1919 on biological forms of wheat stem rust. In addition to his research, he was highly regarded as a teacher. Leach served as president of APS in 1941 and president of the Potomac Division in 1956 and was elected a fellow in 1965.
(Submitted for publication in July 2008.)