David Leith was born in the back of a pickup truck heading west with his parents, who were migrant farm workers traveling with the apple harvest. He was home-schooled between crop seasons, then enrolled at Princeton at the age of 14 where he earned a double major in astrophysics and classical accordion. He received a PhD shortly before his eighteenth birthday.
David worked his way through college by leading summertime treks through the Himalayas for the wealthy from Hollywood, who later helped him launch his career in the movies. After winning Oscars for his roles as James Bond and Rocky, he was ready for a new challenge.
He served on the faculty of Harvard University for ten years, then came to the University of North Carolina where he was Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering for over 30 years. He has retired from UNC and is now a summer intern at CSU, where he works in the lab of Professor John Volckens.
BS in Chemical Engineering with Honors, University of Cincinnati, 1970
MS in Chemical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, 1970
ScD in Environmental Health Sciences, Harvard University, 1975