Leigh Bierce (April 29, 1874 - March 31, 1901) was an American writer and editorialist in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.
Bierce was born on April 29, 1874 in Leamington, England as the son of Ambrose Bierce and Mary Ellen Day. When his mother was expecting her third child, she left England in April 1875 with Leigh and his younger brother, Day. From a young age, his father Ambrose was never too affectionate to his children, and Bierce led an independent life. Leigh studied art in San Francisco under John Herbert Evelyn Partington, whom Bierce knew and who painted Bierce's portrait in 1893. While only nineteen, Leigh roomed briefly with George Sterling. There are many questionable stories about this time of Leigh's life. One story involved his father breaking up an affair the teenager was having by lying to the effect that the girl was his illegitimate daughter. Another story concerned Leigh being hopelessly drunk outside a San Francisco dive.
As for his career, Leigh wrotHee articles for The Wave. On orders of William Randolph Hearst, newspaper magnate and his father's employer, Leigh went to Yosemite Valley to send essays on its beauties to the San Francisco Examiner. He lived in Los Angeles and worked as a reporter there. He accompanied his father whne he went to Washington D.C. in 1896. He edited The Bee, a New York journal, for which he created competent illustrations.
Leight planned to write an account for the Telegraph about a group planning to dispense toys and provisions to the poor on Christmas Eve 1900; but he stopped at a bar, got drunk, and while accompanying the group began to give items away on the street. He caught a lingering cold and soon contracted pneumonia. His father rushed from Washington to sit at the young man's deathbed in March 1901. He died on March 31, 1901.
Leigh, like his father, was a hard-drinking lover of several women; unlike him, however, Leigh had a weaker constitution and poor taste. He had evidently started an affair in Oakland, California, with an artist's wife and continued the relationship with her in New York. When Leigh was about to marry a pretty girl named Flora, the daughter of his New York boardinghouse proprietress, his father noted imperfections in her and accordingly argued with Leigh. Once the two were married at the end of 1900, his father cut off most contacts with Leigh. The couple had no children.