Leon Anderson was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He received a BA from Portland State University (1980) and his PhD in Sociology from the University of Texas (1987). Prior to pursuing his PhD, he worked in the social services and as a journalist in Anchorage, Alaska, where he received awards for his feature stories on the king crab fishing industry and tundra firefighting. For 23 years Leon was on the faculty at Ohio University where he served as Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and as Interim Chair of the Department of Social Work. He is best known in sociology for his collaborative research on homelessness and for his expertise in qualitative research methods. He has received multiple scholarly awards and his books have been translated into Portuguese and Polish. He is currently completing a textbook on the sociology of deviance, while publishing on the topics of "serious leisure" and ethnographic research methods.