MAYO, LEONARD WITHINGTON (4 Sept. 1899-1 Sept. 1992) advised 4 presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson) on mental retardation and physical disabilities and advocated for children, serving on the Federal Commission on Children in Wartime and the U.S. Children's Bureau Commission; four White House Conferences on Children and Youth; as director of the Association for the Aid of Crippled Children (1949-65); and as president of both the Child Welfare League (1935-45) and the International Union for Child Welfare (1957-73). Mayo was dean of WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY'S School of Applied Sciences (SASS, 1941-48); vice-president of the university (1948-49), and, (1982-92) as a member the visiting committee at SASS. Mayo was born in Canaan, NY, to William Withington and Myra Dooley Mayo. After graduating from high school in Oxford, Mass. (1918), he attended Colby College in Maine, receiving an A.B. (1922) and the New York School of Social Work (1929-35). He later served on the faculties of both institutions and before coming to Cleveland, worked in social services in Maine, Maryland, and New York; Mayo worked in Washington, DC, New York and Maine between 1949 and his return to the city in 1982.
Mayo was president of the National Conference of Social Work (1948). Locally, he served on the board of the Cleveland Welfare Federation, as assistant director of civilian defense (1942), and chaired a SASS panel which developed the CLEVELAND COMMUNITY RELATIONS BOARD (1945), among other contributions. Mayo received a citation for distinguished service from President John F. Kennedy, the Albert Lasker Award in World Rehabilitation, and other honorary doctorates from Colby College (1942) and CWRU (1992).
Mayo married Lena Cooly of Harmony, Maine in 1924; they had two children, Margaret Louise Tippit and Thelma Kathryn Loomis. He belonged first to the CHURCH OF THE COVENANT and then to the Federated Church, CHAGRIN FALLS VILLAGE. He died at his Chagrin Falls home.