Rue, Leonard Lee, III 1926-

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RUE, Leonard Lee, III 1926-

PERSONAL: Born February 20, 1926, in Paterson, NJ; son of Leonard Lee (a marine engineer) and Mae (Sellner) Rue; married Beth Castner, May 6, 1945 (divorced, 1976); children: Leonard Lee IV, Tim Lewis, James Keith. Education: Educated in Belvidere, New Jersey. Religion: Methodist.

ADDRESSES: Office—Leonard Rue Enterprises, 138 Millbrook Rd., Blairstown, NJ 07825-9534.

CAREER: Freelance writer and photographer. Summer guide for canoe trips in Canada, gamekeeper for hunt club, teacher of outdoor subjects, lecturer, former camp ranger; founder of Leonard Rue Enterprises, purveyors of photographic equipment and accessories; consultant to Red Hawk Outdoors, Inc., producers of Red Hawk Outdoors, seen on The Outdoor Channel network, 2003; producer of outdoors and nature videos, Leonard Rue Video Productions, Inc.

MEMBER: Society of American Mammalogists, National Parks Society, Wilderness Society, National Wildlife Federation, Audubon Society, Wildlife Society, Masons.

AWARDS, HONORS: Received eleven book awards from New Jersey Institute State Association of English; New Jersey Institute of Technology Award, 1963, for The World of the White-Tailed Deer, 1966, for Cottontail: Children's Pet, Gardener's Pest, and Hunter's Favorite, 1983, for Meet the Opossum, and 1988, for Meet the Beaver; New Jersey Institute of Technology Golden Award, 1979; inducted into New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame, 1979; Excellence in Craft Award, Outdoor Writers Association of America, 1987; D.Sc., Colorado State University, 1990; Lifetime Achievement Award, North American Nature Photography Association, 1997.


Animals in Motion, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1956.

Nature in Motion, prepared with the cooperation of the National Audubon Society, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1957, second edition, with Maurice Burton, 1966.

Tracks and Tracking, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1958.

(And photographer) Cottontail: Children's Pet,Gardener's Pest, and Hunter's Favorite, Crowell (New York, NY), 1961.

(And photographer) The World of the White-TailedDeer, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1962.

The World Picture Guide to American Animals, Arco (New York, NY), 1962.

(And photographer) The World of the Beaver, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1964.

(And photographer) The World of the Raccoon, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1964.

(And photographer) New Jersey Out-of-Doors: A History of Its Flora and Fauna, Hicks Print Co. (Washington, NJ), 1964.

(Illustrator) John Bailey, Our Wild Animals, T. Nelson (London, England), 1965.

(Illustrator) American Animals, Ridge Press (New York, NY), 1965.

Tracks and Trails, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1965.

(And photographer) Pictorial Guide to the Mammals of North America, Crowell (New York, NY), 1967.

(And photographer) Sportsman's Guide to Game Animals, Outdoor Life (New York, NY), 1968, 2nd edition published as Complete Guide to Game Animals: A Field Book of North American Species, 1981.

(And photographer) The World of the Red Fox, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1969.

(And photographer) Pictorial Guide to the Birds ofNorth America, Crowell (New York, NY), 1970.

(And photographer) The World of the Ruffed Grouse, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1973.

(And photographer) Game Birds of North America, illustrated by Douglas Allen, Jr., Outdoor Life (New York, NY), 1973.

The Deer of North America, Outdoor Life (New York, NY), 1978.

Furbearing Animals of North America, Crown (New York, NY), 1981.

(Photographer, and author with Joe Fischl) After YourDeer Is Down: The Care and Handling of All Big Game, Winchester Press (Tulsa, OK), 1981.

(Photographer, and author with William Owen) Meet the Opossum, (for children), Dodd, Mead (New York, NY), 1983.

How I Photograph Wildlife and Nature, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 1984.

(Photographer, and author with William Owen) Meet the Moose, (for children), Dodd, Mead (New York, NY), 1985.

(Photographer, and author with William Owen) Meet the Beaver, (for children), Dodd, Mead (New York, NY), 1986.

(Photographer) Virginia Langley, Babes in the Woods, (for children), illustrated by Patrick Davis, G. Gannett Pub. (Portland, ME), 1987.

(Photographer, with Len Rue, Jr.) Leslie McGuire, Lions, (for children), Atheneum (New York, NY), 1989.

(Photographer, with Len Rue, Jr.) Miriam Schlein, Hippos, (for children), Atheneum (New York, NY), 1989.

(Photographer, with Len Rue, Jr.) Miriam Schlein, Elephants, (for children), Atheneum (New York, NY), 1990.

Leonard Lee Rue III's Whitetails: Answers to All YourQuestions on Life Cycle, Feeding Patterns, Antlers, Scrapes and Rubs, Behavior during the Rut, and Habitat, Stackpole Books (Harrisburg, PA), 1991.

Wolves: A Portrait of the Animal World, Magna (Leicester, England), 1993, Smithmark (New York, NY), 1994.

Birds of Prey: A Portrait of the Animal World, Magna (Leicester, England), 1993, Smithmark (New York, NY), 1994.

Alligators and Crocodiles, Smithmark (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Len Rue, Jr.) How to Photograph Animals in the Wild, Stackpole Books (Mechanicsburg, PA), 1996.

(Photographer with Len Rue, Jr.) Ann Mallard, Bears, Chartwell Books (Edison, NJ), 1998.

The Deer Hunter's Encyclopedia, Lyons Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Leonard Lee Rue III's Way of the Whitetail, Voyageur Press (Stillwater, MN), 2000.

The Deer Hunter's Illustrated Dictionary: Full Explanations of More Than Six Hundred Terms and Phrases Used by Deer Hunters Past and Present, Lyons Press (New York, NY), 2001.

(And photographer) Beavers, Voyageur Press (Stillwater, MN), 2002.

Contributor of articles and photographs to more than a thousand publications in thirty-three countries.

SIDELIGHTS: Noted as one of the most published wildlife photographers in the business, Leonard Lee Rue III is the author of and photographer for numerous books about nature. He has, according to Fred LeBrun, writing in New York State Conservationist, "always given us scientifically accurate but conversational prose in his popular wildlife books." Writing for both adults and juveniles, Rue has detailed the life cycle of the moose, the beaver, and the white-tailed deer, and has also provided valuable how-to advice for the budding photographer. Rue once commented, "I've often been asked how long it takes me to write a book. A lifetime! All of my life I have been preparing for this and every other book I've written or hope to write. All of my life I have been watching, studying, living with, and reading about wildlife, and my hope is that I can spend the rest of my life watching, studying, living with, and reading about wildlife."

Born in New Jersey, in 1926, Rue has his "roots in the soil," as he once commented. Raised on a farm, he became familiar at an early age with the cycle of nature and the importance of the mix of livestock, crops, soil, and water. Growing up during the Depression, Rue experienced hard times as a farm kid. "The life was a good one, though, and if I had my early life to live over I wouldn't change it at all," Rue once reported. He learned the value of hard work and of the pleasures to be found in roaming the countryside. His formal education happened much more outside than inside the classroom, for it was his love of nature that got him started reading and writing about animal life, especially deer.

Rue's first book, Animals in Motion, appeared in 1956, and since that time, he has written books about specific animals, such as the beaver, raccoon, deer, game birds, and the red fox. Rue has also contributed titles to the lore of hunting, how-to's of tracking animals or preparing the meat from game animals. His photography titles have also proven popular. Reviewing Rue's How I Photograph Wildlife and Nature, a contributor for Kliatt noted that for both the beginner and those experienced in photography, the book offers "a great deal of practical advice." A critic for Modern Photography also had praise for that title, commenting that "if wildlife photography has an old master, it is Leonard Lee Rue III." The same contributor noted that Rue "knows all the tricks," and in How I Photograph Wildlife and Nature, he provides "a real meat and potatoes guide."

Among his popular titles targeted specifically for younger readers are Meet the Moose and Meet the Beaver. In the former title, Rue weaves "personal insights throughout the factual narrative," according to a reviewer for Booklist, and illustrates the whole with his own photographs. The same contributor noted that Rue writes with "clarity" and that his black-and-white photos of these "awesome and seldom-seen creatures" are "well-labeled." Rue combines such physical facts as physiology, habits, and behavior in this book that should prove to be a "valuable resource . . . on an animal that is neglected in many animal collections," as Mavis D. Arizzi remarked in School Library Journal. Althea L. Phillips, writing in Appraisal, also lauded Meet the Moose, remarking that is was a book whose "excellent text" and plentiful photographs give it a "vital and alive tone." Richard A. Batwell, also reviewing the title in Appraisal, recommended this "fine book . . . for anyone nine to ninety."

Rue follows the same formula in his Meet the Beaver, "a comprehensive summary of the life of beavers, including their enemies and interaction with humans," according to Mark S. Rich in a Science Books and Films review. Providing little-known facts, such as the existence of a 4,000-foot-long beaver dam in New Hampshire, Rue shows how the beaver has become well-suited to its environment. Patricia Manning, writing in School Library Journal, praised the "crisp black-and-white photographs [which] complement the text" in this "accurate and detailed introduction." Georgia L. Bartlett noted Rue's "obvious fondness for and enthusiasm about the species" in an Appraisal review, while Lynne Kroeger, also writing in Appraisal, called the same title an "informative book on the beaver," further noting that it was "packed full of interesting details."

Rue has long had a fondness for various deer species. As he once commented, "I've lived among deer all my life. I've watched them, studied them, photographed them, hunted them, eaten them." The fruits of much of this work is seen in his year 2000 title Leonard Lee Rue III's Way of the Whitetail, a book about one of the most common mammals in North America. "Rue's narrative is intriguing and packed with information," wrote LeBrun, who went on to note that the photographs separate Rue's title from "hundreds of other books on the subject." This book provides, according to LeBrun, "the essence of a lifetime of study." Nancy Bent, writing in Booklist, also had praise for the title, stating that it is "both scientifically accurate and eminently readable by the layperson." Similarly, in his 2002 title, Beavers, Rue once again returns to a favorite subject and one that he has explored before to explicate and educate about this second largest rodent. Rue explains not only physical facts about the beaver, but also how it builds its dams and lodges.



Ward, Martha E., et al, Authors of Books for YoungPeople, 3rd edition, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.


Appraisal, autumn, 1985, Althea L. Phillips and Richard A. Batwell, review of Meet the Moose, pp. 33-34; spring, 1987, Georgia L. Bartlett and Lynne Kroeger, review of Meet the Beaver, p. 52.

Booklist, July, 1985, review of Meet the Moose, p. 1560; September 1, 2000, Nancy Bent, review of Leonard Lee Rue III's Way of the Whitetail, p. 45; May 1, 2002, Nancy Bent, review of Beavers, p. 1494.

Field and Stream, November, 1991, David E. Petzal, review of Leonard Lee Rue III's Whitetails, p. 98.

Kliatt, winter, 1986, review of How I PhotographWildlife and Nature, p. 67.

Modern Photography, October, 1985, review of How IPhotograph Wildlife and Nature, p. 40.

New York State Conservationist, August, 2001, Fred LeBrun, review of Leonard Lee Rue III's Way of the Whitetail, p. 30.

School Library Journal, October, 1985, Mavis D. Arizzi, review of Meet the Moose, p. 176; January, 1987, Patricia Manning, review of Meet the Beaver, p. 78.

Science Books and Films, March, 1987, Mark S. Rich, review of Meet the Beaver, p. 242.


L. L. Rue Home Page, (March 23, 2003).*