John Marvin and Obadiah "Obie" Paul Leonard were born in Linden, a small town in East Texas. The Leonard family was a farming family of 12 children; Marvin and Obie knew they did not want to farm for a living, so they worked in Dallas and saved $600. They used their savings to start Leonard's, a store that sold farm equipment, food, toys, etc. - a "mall" before there were malls. At one time Leonard's had the largest toy department in the United States. In 1970, the historical Leonard's store was sold to Tandy, then Tandy sold out to Dillard's. Marvin Leonard passed away at the age of 75 in 1970 and Obie Leonard passed away at the age of 89 in 1987.
In 1966, through the generosity of the Leonard brothers, land was acquired for a new school and construction began in 1967. The bond election held in 1964 originally planned for the school to be a junior high, with grades 7 through 9. The new school was named after Marvin and Obie Leonard to recognize all that the Leonard brothers had given to the Fort Worth Independent School District. In May 2009, a 40th anniversary celebration was held at Leonard Middle School. The school was honored to have members of the Leonard family as guests.