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The Leon W. Smith, Jr foundation was created in order to assist students complete their educational studies by providing them with scholarships to pay towards their tuition. Leon W. Smith Jr. was a firefighter who lost his life aiding others in the tragic events of September 11. His legacy is one of courage and sacrifice. His love for life is what encouraged him and made him go into the Twin Towers before they collapsed.

As a way to keep his legacy alive his mother, Irene Smith decided to initiate the "Leon W. Smith Jr. Foundation" in order to keep his lifetime goal alive of "Help others".

There are many stories that can be told about Leon's heroic efforts over the years. One such story was published by The Brooklyn Heights Press, telling of Leon's assistance in a purse snatching and how he and three other firefighters chased the thief all the way to Brooklyn Bridge, where they held him until the police arrived. Acts such as this earned him the nickname "Physical Lee." His coworkers nicknamed him "Express" because he felt his 'beloved' fire truck, whom he referred to fondly as his "girlfriend" should always be among the first to arrive at the scene of a fire.

On May 5, 2004 Mayor Bloomberg honored Leon by naming a Street after him.
"Firefighter Leon W. Smith, Jr. Memorial Way" Located on Hancock St. between Ralph and Patchen Avenue in Brooklyn.