The great American adventure started for Leach on November 23, 1963. That’s when the British-born journalist and future, celebrated bon vivant arrived in Manhattan and found himself, like so many others before and since, a very long way from anything rich or famous:
I sailed into Manhattan Harbor onboard the Queen Mary and landed with no job and contacts and just $135 in my pocket. My first lodging was in a rundown hotel for $27 a week with the bathroom down the end of a corridor of beds.
It took me two days to get a job and, after selling shoes at a New York City department store, landed back in journalism at the Daily News of New York.