Sir Leo Schultz OBE was a major figure in the recent history of Hull. Sir Leo was an active councillor serving Hull for many years, and he was Leader of the Council from 1945 to 1979. He was a prominent and recognisable personality in Hull and is still remembered fondly by many in the city.
A talented and intelligent child, at the age of 15 he came first in regional exams for a scholarship to Oxford University. Appallingly, he was advised that Oxford was not really for a boy of his class and religion (Jewish). Schultz reluctantly stepped down and later became a dedicated socialist, using his great financial and political skills for public service, rather than for his own benefit. Before the Second World War he campaigned for the council to build expensive bomb shelters. He was successful and the shelters helped to save many thousands of lives. During the war he was also decorated for his work as an Air Raid Warden.
However, there was nothing to commemorate Sir Leo within the Guildhall, his place of work and action for 57 years. In order to officially recognise Sir Leo's positive influence and life's work the Council decided to commission Nigel Boonham to initially produce a statuette of him. As Sir Leo died in 1991, Boonham was going to have to base his work on old photographs.