Leo Catholic High School

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Leo Catholic High School
7901 South Sangamon Street


United States
Coordinates41°45′1″N 87°38′50″W / 41.75028°N 87.64722°W / 41.75028; -87.64722
Typeprivate all-male, secondary parochial
MottoFacta Non Verba
(Deeds Not Words)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s)Pope Leo XIII
FounderMsgr. Peter F. Shewbridge
OversightArchdiocese of Chicago
PresidentDaniel McGrath
PrincipalShaka Rawls
Enrollment174 (2019-2020)
Campus typeurban
Color(s)  Orange
Athletics conferenceChicago Catholic League
MascotLeo the Lion
Team nameLions
AccreditationNorth Central Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
NewspaperThe Oriole

Leo Catholic High School is a private all-male, Catholic high school in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is located in the 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.


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); 2nd place (2015–16)
  • track & field: 3rd place (1982–83, 2000–01, 2004–05); 2nd place (1999–2000, 2003–04); State Champions (1980–81, 1994–95, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2010–11, 2011–12)

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]

Heads of School[edit]


  1. Shaka Rawls '93 (2016–present)


  1. Robert W. Foster (1991–2010)
  2. Dan McGrath '68 (2010–present)

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived 2008-09-01 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  3. ^ "1942 Leo High School Yearbook". www.classmates.com. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  4. ^ IHSA record page for Leo HS
  5. ^ "IHSA general records for high school football". Archived from the original on 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  6. ^ Andre Brown profile, basketball-reference.com
  7. ^ "Leo Men in the News". Leo High School. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  8. ^ "Retired Auxiliary Bishop John Gorman celebrates 95th birthday".
  9. ^ 'Illinois Blue Bue Book 1871-1972,' Biographical Sketch of John J. Houlihan, pp. 256-257.
  10. ^ Jason Jefferson profile, nfl.com
  11. ^ Jason Jefferson bio, usatoday.com; accessed August 7, 2017.
  12. ^ "Lewis University confers honorary degrees May 16-17".
  13. ^ "Thomas A. Murphy, former GM Chairman & CEO, dies at 90" (Press release). General Motors. January 18, 2006. Archived from the original on March 17, 2006. Retrieved February 15, 2010. Murphy served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-46 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
  14. ^ Chris Watson profile @ databasefootball.com Archived 2009-05-25 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]