Leonard S. Coleman Jr.
Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
In office
February 18, 1986 – July 6, 1988
GovernorThomas Kean
Preceded byJohn Renna
Succeeded byAnthony M. Villane
Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Energy
In office
February 10, 1982 – February 18, 1986
GovernorThomas Kean
Preceded byCharles A. Richman (acting)
Succeeded byCharles A. Richman (acting)
Personal details
Born (1949-02-17) February 17, 1949 (age 73)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.

Leonard S. Coleman Jr. (born February 17, 1949) was the last president of the National League. He held the office from 1994 until 1999 when it was eliminated by Major League Baseball. He is currently on the Board of Directors of H. J. Heinz Company, the Omnicom Group, Cendant Corporation, Aramark, Churchill Downs and Electronic Arts.[1] He received a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Early life and education

Born in Newark, New Jersey on February 17, 1949, Coleman was raised in Montclair, New Jersey and attended Montclair High School, where he played baseball and football, earning a selection as a New Jersey All-American halfback during his senior year.[2] He played both sports at Princeton University and became the first black athlete to score a touchdown for the Princeton Tigers football team but joined two other black players in filing charges that the university had discriminated against them in their opportunities to fairly participate on the football team based on their race, leading to the dismissal of all three players from the team.[3]

Coleman graduated from Princeton University in 1971 with a degree in history, then attended Harvard University, where he earned both a master's degree in public administration (MPA) and a master's degree in education and social policy.[4]


A resident of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, Coleman served as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs until July 15, 1988, when he left office to enter private industry and was succeeded by Anthony M. Villane.[5] He had also served as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Energy, and he was chairman of the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.[6]

While serving as president of the National League, Coleman operated Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, forging a working alliance with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to help grow the RBI program.[7][8] He also served as chairman of the board of directors of the Jackie Robinson Foundation for 18 years.[9]

As of September 2016, Coleman is reported to own shares in Aramark, Avis Budget Group, Electronic Arts, and Omnicom Group with the total value of US$5.3 million.[10]

Preceded byBill White National League President 1994–1999 Succeeded byoffice abolished


  1. ^ "Heinz - Board of Directors - Mr. Leonard S. Coleman, Jr". Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  2. ^ Staff. "Len Coleman: the National League's new president takes charge", Ebony, June 1994. Accessed September 1, 2016. "Coleman's route to the presidency took a number of turns, but he came with a wealth of experience and a strong athletic background. He grew up in Montclair; N.J., and excelled in baseball and football at Montclair High School. In his senior year, he was an All-American halfback, and the ring he still wears today is evidence that he was a part of New Jersey's All-State backfield that included Joe Theismann, Franco Harris and Jack Tatum, all of whom went on to the NFL."
  3. ^ "Leonard S. Coleman NL President 1994-1999" Archived 2018-11-09 at the Wayback Machine, SportsEncyclopedia.com. Accessed September 1, 2016.
  4. ^ "Leonard S. Coleman, Jr. Biography H. J. Heinz Company website
  5. ^ Ben-Joseph, Robin. "Kean nominates Villane to Cabinet" Archived 2013-09-24 at the Wayback Machine, Red Bank Register, July 8, 1988. Accessed September 1, 2016. "If approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate, Villane will replace Coleman, an Atlantic Highlands resident who resigned effective July 15 to enter private business."
  6. ^ "Leonard S. Coleman Profile" Forbes Magazine website
  7. ^ KAMIN, ARTHUR Z. (March 6, 1994). "New Jersey Q & A: Leonard S. Coleman Jr.; A New Leader in Baseball's Hierarchy - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-06-08.
  8. ^ Smith, Claire (March 30, 1997). "Blacks Turning Away From Baseball and Robinson's Dream". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  9. ^ "An oral history of the night baseball stopped to retire No. 42 forever". ESPN. April 14, 2017.
  10. ^ "LEONARD S COLEMAN JR Insider Trading Overview". www.insidermole.com. Retrieved 2016-09-05.