Leo Catholic High School

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Leo Catholic High School
7901 South Sangamon Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60620
Coordinates 41°45′1″N 87°38′50″W / 41.75028°N 87.64722°W / 41.75028; -87.64722
Type private all-male, secondary parochial
Motto Facta Non Verba
(Deeds Not Words)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1926
Oversight Archdiocese of Chicago
President Dan McGrath
Principal Philip Mesina
Faculty 20
Grades 912
Enrollment 230 (2007-2008)
Campus type urban
Color(s)      Orange
Athletics conference Chicago Catholic League
Team name Lions
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Newspaper The Oriole
Tuition US$6,150[2]
Affiliation Congregation of Christian Brothers

Leo Catholic High School is an all-male Catholic high school in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and home to a predominantly African–American student body. The school is named in honor of Pope Leo XIII.[3]


Established in 1926 by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, their first school in Chicago, Leo Catholic High School has educated thousands of boys from Chicago's South Side and suburbs.

School Colors[edit]

The school colors are black and orange. Since Leo was founded, the Christian Brothers of Ireland have established two more boys schools, Brother Rice High School and St. Laurence High School. As a sign of respect for Leo, Brother Rice took the orange in addition to maroon for its school colors, and St. Laurence took black in addition to gold for their schools. Brother Rice and St. Laurence are often called "Sons of Leo."


Since its founding in 1926, Leo has competed in the Chicago Catholic League. The school also competes in state championship tournaments sponsored by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).

These teams have finished in the top four of their respective IHSA state tournament:[4]

  • basketball: 4th place (1997–98); State Champions (2003–04)
  • track & field: 3rd place (1982–83, 2000–01, 04–05); 2nd place (1999–2000, 03–04); State Champions (1980–81, 94–95, 97–98, 2001–02, 02–03, 10-11,11-12)

The school was initially known for its football team, which made 8 appearances in Chicago's Prep Bowl, which pitted the champion of the Catholic League against the winner from the Chicago Public League from 1934 to 1956. The 1941, 42 and 56 teams won Prep Bowl city championships at Soldier Field. Leo High School is also recognized as the 1941 high school football national champion.

In particular, the 1937 and 1941 Prep Bowls are recognized as holding the state of Illinois' all-time records for attendance at a football game. The 1937 attendance was estimated at 110,000 spectators, which saw Leo lose to Austin High School, 26–0. The 1941 game saw 95,000 spectators watch Leo defeat Tilden High School, 46–13. The 1940 and 42 games each had 75,000 fans, meaning Leo has played in front of four of the 11 largest crowds in Illinois high school history.[5]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  2. ^ 2007-08 tuition
  3. ^ History of Leo HS
  4. ^ IHSA record page for Leo HS
  5. ^ IHSA general records for high school football
  6. ^ Andre Brown stats & bio @basketball-reference.com
  7. ^ "Leo Men in the News". Leo High School. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ Jason Jefferson stats & bio @nfl.com
  9. ^ Jason Jefferson bio at usatoday.com
  10. ^ "Thomas A. Murphy, former GM Chairman & CEO, dies at 90" (Press release). General Motors. 18 January 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2010. Murphy served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946 and reached the rank of lieutenant (j.g.). He was born Dec. 10, 1915, in Hornell, N.Y., and attended Leo High School in Chicago 
  11. ^ Chris Watson bio & stats @nfl.com
  12. ^ Chris Watson stats & bio @databasefootball.com

External links[edit]