Leslie Morris Golden received the B.A. with Distinction and Masters in Engineering Physics from Cornell University, where he studied astronomy under Frank Drake of SETI fame and was the award-winning editor-in-chief of the Cornell Engineer magazine. He received his M.A. and Ph.D in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. He performed his dissertation, "A Microwave Interferometric Study of the Subsurface of the Planet Mercury," under William J. ("Jack") Welch, the Watson and Marilyn Alberts Professor of Extraterrestrial Intelligence Emeritus.
Mr. Golden obtained a National Research Council Resident Research Associateship grant to continue studies of Mercury at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory before obtaining his academic appointment at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he became affiliated with both the physics department and the Honors College. He has also taught probability and statistics at the Heller Graduate School of Business of Roosevelt University, Chicago. He applies probability and statistics to blackjack, craps, and roulette as a columnist for five London-based gambling magazines and has published peer-reviewed papers in the field. He has won numerous awards for both fiction and non-fiction writing, including the prestigious Lili Fabilli-Eric Hoffer Laconic Essay Prize. As detailed in a series of columns, he developed the Golden Diagram system for blackjack and the Magic Circle strategy for roulette. He was named a 2016 Scholar by the International Gaming Institute of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Mr. Golden has additional careers as a professional trumpet player and vocalist, bandleader, stand-up comedian, professional actor, music notation software developer, and cartoonist. At the University of California, he was one of the founding fathers, a trumpet player and vocalist, and the long-time announcer for the prestigious University of California Jazz Ensembles as well as a popular emcee for jazz festivals throughout California. He has appeared in over 100 stage, motion picture, radio, television, television commercial productions and magazine and newspaper ads, including film and television featured roles with Forrest Tucker, Tippi Hedren, Troy Donahue, Charlotte Ross, and others. He was mentored by the legendary Del Close of Chicago's Second City improvisation theater.
Golden is a fervent environmentalist and passionate, nationally-known animal welfare advocate, working nationwide to save dogs, abused circus and zoo animals, and other animals, as well as to reform animal laws. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with his rescued canine, feline friends, and the occasional injured or orphaned wildlife.
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