Leo Antony (Tony) Gleaton (August 4, 1948 – August 14, 2015) was an African-American photographer. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he moved with his family to California at the age of 11. He joined the Marines after high school, then pursued a college degree at the University of California Los Angeles, where he became interested in photography. A large portion of his work was about capturing images of African displacement in the West (the Americas) and its influence. He was also well known for his photography of black cowboys. Gleaton died in his home in Palo Alto, CA, on August 14, 2015 after a long battle with oral cancer.
Gleaton was born to a middle-class family. Gleaton’s mother, Geraldine Woodson, a school teacher, and father, Leo, a police officer, split up when he was 11 years old. His mother then relocated his family to Los Angeles, California. He began his collegiate career at East Los Angeles Junior College where he played football. He left in 1967 to join the Marine Corps, serving one tour in Vietnam. In 1970 he returned to the U.S. and enrolled at the UCLA under the GI bill, but did not graduate. Gleaton also took classes at the University of California, Berkeley and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena on scholarship. Gleaton earned an MFA in Fine Arts Photography from Bard College in 2002.http://www.bard.edu/graduate/mfa/gallery/artist/index.php?id=2499709