E. LEROY NEAL
After fifty years in Track and Field,Leroy Neal has discovered a new career in writing. His natural curiosity and concern about political correctness and the changing culture has given him a new area to be passionate about.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in San Diego, CA in July of 1941 Leroy grew up in Fullerton, California. In the early days, he was a less than average student (1.8 GPA at FUHS) but soon developed into a national caliber runner. At Fullerton High School he placed third in the CA state championship mile in 1958. Two years later, at Fullerton Junior College, he became the State Champion in the half mile run and then the State Champion in the mile run a year later. Before he finished his running career, he had set the national record in the half-mile, three times, the school record in the mile at Occidental College and ran on five different relay teams that set national records a combined nine times.
Leroy enlisted in the USMC in 1965 and rose to the rank of captain as a member of an 8 inch, self-propelled howitzer platoon. He served one tour of duty (13 months) in Viet Nam in 1967 and mustered out of the corps in 1968. Using his GI benefits, he enrolled in graduate school at San Diego State University. His time in the Marine Corps had developed a new attitude about education in general and exercise physiology in particular. In his first semester, he enrolled in four history classes to make up his academic minor and saw his GPA jump to a very credible 3.0. Then for the next two years he earned straight A’s and published his Master’s Thesis. Writing the thesis was the first indication of his love of writing. His social life soon took a back seat to his research and writing. He even joked with friends that “someday I’m going to write a book”.
TRACK COACH AND EDUCATOR
Leroy next served as a Los Angeles County Occupational Exercise Physiologist for two years. His duties included the physical fitness testing of LA County Deputy Sherriff and LA County Fire Department applicants. However, he soon returned to his first love to become the head track and cross country coach at the California Institute of Technology for twelve years and then the head track and cross country coach at BIOLA (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) University for nineteen years.
THE NEXT CHAPTER
When Leroy retired, he and wife Gail moved to Colorado Springs, CO to be near their grandchildren. They soon became members at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. It was a fortuitous move. On Jan 4, 2015 Leroy sat in his usual pew and listened to a sermon that shocked him out of his complacency. It made him realize how little he knew about Islam and Christianity. It was disturbing that he could not answer a few simple questions about the two religions and their holy books, the Koran and the Bible. That was the moment which revived his love of writing. What he needed most to know was to discover whether Islam was too radical or was he not radical enough. The best way to answer his own questions was to write a book that would answer those questions. Radical Or Not, Here I Come was the result.