Leo Bayer had a successful law practice in Cleveland for more than
three decades. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he was one of three children of William S. and Gertrude L. (Grossberg) Bayer. He graduated from high school in Cleveland at 15, attended the University of Chicago [Illinois], but earned his undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Around 1930, he earned his law degree and spent a year on a fellowship at Harvard Law School. Mr. Bayer would have preferred a career in writing, but the need to earn a living propelled him into law. Mr. Bayer began his general law practice in 1932. Mr. Bayer, often called "Lee," was no dilettante in the writing field.
With his first wife, Eleanor (née Rosenfeld, more famously known as Eleanor Perry), he coauthored the full-length
play Third Best Sport, which was presented on Broadway by the Theatre
Guild in 1958 and starred Celeste Holm. Under the pseudonym Oliver Weld Bayer, the couple wrote five published
mysteries in the 1940s and 1950s. Paperback versions were sent to GIs
overseas during World War II.
When the couple divorced, Mr. Bayer continued writing on his own. He later married Elizabeth Brown and they moved
to Duxbury in 1967, when he retired from law, and spent summers with
their children at their home in West Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard. After the age of 60, Mr. Bayer took violin lessons, taught himself
calculus, and began to draw and paint, capturing favorite Vineyard
scenes in watercolors and pen-and-ink. He passed away at home in December 2004.