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Tom Leykis Biography
Tom Leykis is one of the most recognizable personalities in American radio today. His nationally syndicated radio show, the “Tom Leykis Show” can be found with Westwood One. Tom Leykis is just one of those people where there is very little middle ground on how you feel about him. Your opinion of him will be just like many of his opinions and views of the world – extreme. Although he has a massive national following, you will probably find just as many people who hate him, as you would people who love him.
It is the controversy that tom leykis stirs on a daily basis that makes him such a magnetic personality in the radio world. Tom Leykis pushes the limits as a shock-jock while discussing such sensitive issues as relationships, marriage, sex, politics, and religion. His confrontational opinions and viewpoints have won him as many opponents, as they have fans. In some respects, Tom Leykis is a testament to freedom of speech in the United States, making the “Land of the Free” ring truer than ever.
Much of Tom Leykis’ philosophy on life is based on his own life experiences. In this respect, it is possible to shed some light on the man by exposing a bit of his history, history that has shaped him into the man that he has become.
Born in the Bronx in New York City on August 1st, 1956, Tom Leykis has always shown a captivating personality and a flair for the dramatic and controversial on the radio airwaves. It all started in 1970 as a teenager when Tom Leykis won a coveted “Why I Want To Be On The Radio” contest at a Long Island radio station that allowed him to appear on air. His performance was gripping as the station’s executive was impressed by young tom leykis, and consequently invited him back to fill-in as a host for several more gigs. Tom Leykis continued to develop his radio personality and refine his emceeing methods before getting his first regular gig hosting a show every Sunday morning.
It wasn’t until his next gig in 1981 in the City of Albany that Tom Leykis was allowed to showcase his controversial opinions and views, which he could from his daily weeknight slot. This also led to another characteristic Tom Leykis trait – his ability to attract listeners. Soon, his show’s ratings climbed so high that the station’s decision-makers next logical step was to move him to the desirable morning drive slot. The move turned out great for the station as their profile and ratings were raised thanks to Tom Leykis. Tom Leykis moved on to other locally broadcasted slots in Miami, Phoenix, Boston, and Los Angeles. Wherever he went, he was a sure ratings-booster.
It was in the City of Los Angeles that his “Tom Leykis Show” became nationally syndicated in 1994. The Tom Leykis Show has evolved through its remarkable history. During its first few years of national syndication, the Tom Leykis Show was politically charged. Tom Leykis himself often credited himself as the only liberal voice on the national radio airwaves unlike the other “right-wing wacko and convicted felons” in reference to Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy. The Tom Leykis show shifted towards a male interest type of show, one that it is now known today, when Tom Leykis changed over to another Los Angeles radio station, KLSX. Political and religious topics were discussed with less regularity, while central themes became more focused on shock-jock issues dealing with sex and relationships. This brought Tom Leykis up another level of controversy.
Perhaps the most notorious publicity that Tom Leykis has experienced was the backlash he received when he revealed publicly the name of the woman who accused Los Angeles Lakers basketball superstar, Kobe Bryant, of raping her. This was done when most media outlets agreed to not release her name. Leykis defended his actions by proclaiming that rape is a crime so the victim should not feel shamed or embarrassed by her name being released. He went on to also advocate his thoughts whether a trial could be fair with the suspect’s name being released to the public while the accuser’s name was shielded. Many believed that it was a calculated move on Leykis’ part to generate more media publicity for himself, something he has a penchant for. It was also Tom Leykis who publicly released on-air the name of a woman who was part of the Christian Coalition who tried to kill herself by jumping of a Seattle bridge; and the man who was the student and underage lover of teacher, Mary Kay Letourneau.
In regards to Tom Leykis’s private life, the man has been married four times. And lo and behold, he has been divorced all four times. He was arrested in 1993 on the charges of felony assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime against his forth wife, Susan. This incident alledged that tom leykis hit Susan with a drinking glass and pushed her head into a fireplace, while threatening to kill her. Tom Leykis pleaded not guilty to those charges, which were later dropped when he completed a program to deal with domestic violence.