Tony Leon was born on 15 December 1956 in Durban, Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal). He was born to Sheila Schulz and Ramon Leon. His father was an Advocate and later a judge. He enrolled for his primary education at Clifton Preparatory School in Durban and later moved to Kearsney College.

Leon went on to register a law degree with the University of Witwatersrand. His leadership qualities manifested themselves while still at Witwatersrand University. He was the president of the Law Student Council and deputy President of the Student Representative Council. While still at Wits he was appointed to lectureship position in a Law Department in 1986.

Leon also occupied quit number of political positions. During the transitional period he held challenging positions in Democratic Party. He was the chairperson of the DP's Bill of Rights Commission, an advisor to CODESA and a delegate to the multi-party negotiations process at Kempton Park. In 1994 he was elected the leader of Democratic Party and Member of Parliament. When DP merged with New National Party to form Democratic Alliance Leon became the leader of the newly formed party

He is married to Michael Even-Zahav.

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