It was founded as Latopress in 1919, soon after Latvia became independent; the name was changed to LTA the next year when the wire service was subordinated to the Latvian Telegraph Agency. The name LETA was only used occasionally during the interwar period.
In 1940, when Latvia was occupied by the Soviet Union, it became a subordinate agency of the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS), a status it would keep until Latvia regained independence in 1991.
During the occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany, LETA was subordinated to the German DNB news agency.
From 1971 it was known as Latinform. On 31 May 1990, the Latvian government restored the name LETA and the news agency's independence from TASS.
In 1997, LETA was put up for privatisation by the Latvian state.
On 27 April 2011, the LETA website was defaced by an unknown hacker who claimed to be protesting commercially biased news sources. It was down for a few hours as was the LETA side project "nozare.lv" and others.
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