Daniel Leary Jr., retired CEO of Motorlease Corporation, passed away Oct. 3, 2011, after a brief illness. He was 82.
Leary attended Georgetown University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economics, and earned his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
He began his career with IBM in 1948, before serving as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He later worked for Cities Service Company (now Citgo). In 1960, Leary joined the Motorlease Corporation, a Farmington, Conn.-based fleet management company founded in 1946, and became CEO in 1976.
During his tenure, he helped pioneer the concept of outsourced fleet management for small and mid-sized companies. The company grew remarkably under his leadership and he was recognized as an innovator in his field.
In the 1960s, Motorlease played an integral role in the capital gain treatment of used-vehicle sale income after Congress eliminated capital gains for depreciable property. Motorlease v. US was the one case selected to represent the industry’s position, and was litigated all the way to the Supreme Court where a final victory was won on March 21, 1966.
In 1993, Leary retired from Motorlease and turned over control of the company to his son, Jack, and daughter, Beth. He continued to serve on its Board of Directors until his death last year. Leary was an active member of the American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA) throughout his career, and served on the AALA Board of Directors from 1981-1993.
In 2005, Motorlease celebrated its 60th year in business. In recognition of the milestone anniversary, then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell claimed Aug. 15 “The Motorlease Corp. Day” in the state of Connecticut.
In 2011, Leary was one of 21 industry pioneers nominated for the Fleet Hall of Fame.
Leary was preceded in death in 2006 by his wife of 55 years, Elisabeth. He is survived by his four children: Dan (Anne); Jack (Sara); Beth (Mike); and Pam (Bob); 11 grandchildren; and four siblings: Barrett, Tom, Mary Caroline, and Margot.
By Grace Suizo
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet