Richard Leach - A Good Man
I was removing a ton of clutter in my home office and ran into a newspaper clipping with several interesting articles. I don't remember keeping the clipping or which article interested me. I did noticed that one of the articles mentioned a man named Richard Leach. He had died in May 29, 2001 but what was noteworthy was his involvement with Barney the dinosaur. This children's show holds a place in my heart because it was one of the first of many videos that my first born watched when she was a toddler and young child.
My daughter is much older now and she had outgrown Barney quickly due to other competing children shows at the time such as Blue's Clues, the Wiggles, and Veggie Tales. We had purchase Barney toys along the way to becoming a big girl. At one time, there was a Barney theater at Universal City Studios Isle of Adventure in the early 2000's. When we last visited in 2010 it was not there anymore. Barney shows and toys still exist but he is not as big as he used to be in the early 2000's.
I tried looking up Richard Leach on the internet and I could not find him. There was another Richard Leach in Wikipedia but it was not the same person involved with Barney and Friends. I had to google Barney and Friends to get more information on Mr. Leach. It turns out that he had a daughter that wanted to create a show for her kids (Richard's grandchildren).
This article was written to keep the memories of a good man alive forever in cyberspace. It does not appear that there is much information on the internet about him and maybe he wanted it that way. I think it is a shame. He deserves to have more recognition whether he likes it or not. Unfortunately, I could not find a picture of Mr. Leach.
I just didn't have the heart to toss the article away. I feel better now that I kept some memories about him online, maybe forever.
Below are text from the article I found and his obituary on the Internet.
Richard Leach Article from Catholic Review, June 14, 2001
'Barney' developer, philanthropist dies
Plano, Texas – More than 700 people attended the June 1 funeral Mass for Dallas businessman and philanthropist Richard Leach, known for his generous support of Catholic charitable causes but probably best known for helping make Barney, the purple dinosaur, possible. Mr. Leach, who was involved in the entertainment and publishing industries, died May 29 of complications from a heart attack. He was 73. In addition to other endeavors, he also founded Resources for Christian Living, a Catholic publishing company, through which he helped developed two television series – “Barney and Friends” and “Wishbone” – which became household names and are broadcast worldwide.
Richard Leach Obituary from LA Times Online
Richard Leach; Bankrolled Creation of 'Barney' Dinosaur
Obituaries | PASSINGS
Richard C. Leach, 73, a Texas businessman who bankrolled the creation of "Barney," the purple dinosaur, died Tuesday of complications from a heart attack at Baylor Medical Center in Irving, Texas.
In 1988, Leach backed his daughter-in-law, Sheryl Stamps Leach, who was trying to create a character to entertain her 2-year-old child. Leach committed $700,000 to the project and his daughter-in-law and a friend teamed with a video producer to develop the Barney Home Video Series. For PBS, Leach also produced the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series "Wishbone."