George Leigh; Co-Founder of Gay Bookstore Chain

George Leigh, 60, co-founder of A Different Light Bookstore in West Hollywood and other cities. Leigh was an attorney with Texaco Canada in 1978 when he suggested to fellow Toronto resident Norman Laurila that they open a "gay liberation bookstore." Leigh and Laurila, who had managed a bookstore in Toronto, set up their first A Different Light venue a year later in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. That store closed in 1992, two years after they opened the popular book shop in West Hollywood. Over the years, they also established A Different Light bookstores in San Francisco and New York. Employees often felt Leigh ran the business more for pleasure than profit. He delighted in getting behind a counter to sell books and never blinked when the stores spent, rather than made, money to launch writers series, sponsor literary conferences or subsidize publication of controversial books. On Jan. 7 in West Hollywood.

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