The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Leonard Chess

Induction category: Non-Performer

Biography

Inductee: Leonard Chess (born March 12, 1917, died October 16, 1969) Leonard Chess was born Lejzor Czyz in Motal, Poland, in 1917. In 1928, his family moved to New York and then to Chicago, where his father was in the liquor business. The family’s name was changed to Chess, and Lejzor became Leonard. In his early twenties, Leonard and his brother Phil became active in the South Side of Chicago’s nightclub scene. Eventually, they began running a series of jazz clubs, including the Macamba Lounge. In 1947, Leonard began working with Aristocrat Records, and eventually he and his brother took ...

full bio

Leonard Chess Highlights