Franklin J. Leicht III, 90, Mamaroneck Resident, TV Executive

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Franklin J. Leicht III, 90, of Mamaroneck, died Sunday, Sept. 13.

He was born Jan. 21, 1925, in Reading, Pa. His father, Franklin J. Leicht II, worked in a hat factory. His mother, Mabel, was an office assistant. 

After graduating from high school, Leicht worked at various jobs. In 1943, he was called to service by the U.S. Army but was initially determined to be 4F as a result of his less-than-perfect eyesight. After this rejection, he enlisted and served in the infantry with the Occupation Army.

After leaving the Army, he attended the University of Pennsylvania. There, he joined and became an avid member of the Pennsylvania Players. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and moved to New York City to begin his professional career. It was there he met Dorothy Odence, who became his wife in 1955.

His first job in New York was with WCBS television station. He started in the mailroom. From that position, he rose to become an assistant director on a number of productions, including the “Jackie Gleason Show” and the “Ed Sullivan Show.” In 1963, he joined the newly formed public broadcasting station WNET, Channel 13, where he rose to the position of vice president of production. He left WNET in 1982.

Until his eventual retirement, he served as a consultant for various organizations focused on advancing educational and cultural experiences through the media. 

He and his wife moved their family to Mamaroneck in 1968. He became an active member of the community and served on the board of the Mamaroneck Public Library. 

Following his passion for live performance and the arts, he was instrumental in the creation and later saving of the Emelin Theatre when it was threatened with closing. He was also a member of the committee that negotiated with the cable company when cable television was first being introduced in the Larchmont-Mamaroneck area.

He is survived by his wife Dorothy; two sons, Josh and Steven; and six grandchildren.

Services are private. To leave online condolences or light a virtual candle, click here

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