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Leon Handler was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 6, 1922. He began as an electronics technician and had no great interest in photography at the time. He met Antoinette “Toni” Handler in France whom he married. They moved back to the United States in 1947 after his tour of duty in the American Armed Forces. They moved to Montréal, Québec in 1952, where Leon got a job as a television technician for RCA Victor. Starting as a hobby, in 1961 he began taking photographs. He soon developed a passion for amateur photography, developing his photographs in a temporary darkroom set up in his house. He neither published his works nor entered them in competitions. All of his photographs remained at his home. He used Nikon and Linhoff brand cameras for his work. He was a careful and methodical photographer, annotating his photographs with the environmental conditions of the shoot, type of camera used and settings. He took many of his photographs in Montréal and often took photographs while visiting a friend in New Jersey. Other places featured in his photographs include Québec City and France. His wife often accompanied him on his longer photography trips. His preferred subjects were old buildings or nature, the latter taken in parks or zoos, although he did take occasional portraits and other subjects pertaining to everyday life in and out of doors. After retiring as a television technician in 1987, he and his wife moved to Winnipeg in June 1996. Leon Handler died on October 22, 2005.
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University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
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Merridy Peters, February 14 2013.
Sources for description included interview with Mrs. Antoinette Handler.