History Hero: Louis Leal

Lou Leal is park historian at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen, California. For 20 years he has been a volunteer docent at the park and can talk for hours about one of the 20th Century’s greatest authors. Jack London lived on this land for more than a decade – and wrote many books below a giant oak tree just outside his cottage. Lou worked for years a teacher in the Bay Area and now is a vision therapist working with children and adults to correct eye coordination problems. But his weekend passion is digging deep into the history of Jack London – especially so many of the myths about London’s fascinating life and death. And as lead historian, Lou works with park docents, teaching them the history of London — especially the years he and his wife Charmian lived on the property in Sonoma Valley. Below you will find one of the video’s Lou is in regarding Jack London. It’s one of our “Voices of Americana” specials — no narration — just the words of Lou as he shares stories about the famous writer.  Lou has a way of keeping you as spellbound as London did a century ago.



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“History Heroes” are profiles of people young and old we meet along the way sharing their love of the past.

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