Leo McGarry
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Leo McGarry

The West Wing

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About Him

Grew up… in Chicago, Ill. Leo’s father, an alcoholic, committed suicide while his children were still young. Leo took it as his responsibility to help his mother raise his two sisters.

Living… for his job, and little else, in Washington D.C. Leo was a successful businessman in the private sector, but chose to enter politics in order to help his friend Jed Bartlet run for President. Leo’s life revolves around the President. He wants to help Jed carry the weight of the world.

Profession… White House Chief of Staff. President Barlet chose Leo for the job because he’s smart, tough and unafraid of expressing his opinions. “All right!” he yells to a crowded room full of White House staff. “Shut the hell up, everybody. I’ve fired more people than you before breakfast.”

Relationship Status… married, though it appears to be a difficult arrangement. Leo’s wife is not satisfied with the amount of time he spends at the office. Even though he tries to convince her of the importance of his job, she doesn’t seem to be willing to accept the fact that she comes second to the President.

Challenge… keeping his troubled past out of the press. Leo has had some issues with substance abuse, and he knows that it will cause a scandal if his history were to become public knowledge. Most people don’t understand the nature of his condition. “Do you have any idea how many alcoholics are in Mensa?” he asks a colleague. “You think it’s a lack of willpower? That’s like thinking somebody with anorexia nervosa has an overdeveloped sense of vanity.”

Personality… serious and dedicated, a good man to have in your foxhole. Leo is a veteran of the Vietnam War who went on to be a successful attorney and businessman, and that breadth of experience has served him well. He is known for his ability to work hard and focus on the administration’s aims, no matter the obstacles. 

Leo McGarry's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #2768 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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