Leslie Smith

Leslie Smith

Leslie Charles Smith, OBE (6 March 1918 – 26 May, 2005), was a co-founder of Lesney Products, the company famous for making Matchbox cars.


Smith was born in Enfield, Middlesex, left school at the age of 14, and was working as an export buyer in London when World War II broke out in 1939, whereupon he joined the Royal Navy. He served with Rodney Smith, and after the war had ended, in 1947, they founded Lesney Products. [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article528793.ece Obituary at Times Online from June 2 2005] Retrieved 2007-08-11] The name 'Lesney' was formed by combining their first names.

He married Nancy Jackson-Moore in 1948. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20050607/ai_n14657723/pg_2 Obituary at The Independent from June 7 2005] Retrieved 2007-08-11]

Following Lesney's success with Matchbox cars, Lesney Products was awarded the Queen's Award to Industry in 1966, and he was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1968. Lesney Products was declared insolvent in 1982. Leslie Smith then became chairman of the board of governors for St Paul's School, Winchmore Hill [ [http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/reports/pdf/?inspectionNumber=198603&providerCategoryID=4096&fileName=\school\102\s10_102035_20020509.pdf OFSTED reort 102035 published May 9 2002] Retrieved 2007-08-11] and another school in north London, where he lived until his death. [ [http://www.fcarnahan.com/pg/lsmith.html Leslie Smith, a Matchbox Car creator from April 6 2005] Retrieved 2007-08-11]

He had two sons and a daughter. [ [http://news.independent.co.uk/people/obituaries/article224699.ece Obituary at The Independent] ]


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