Leonard McCalla was born February 9, 1909, in Kansas City, Missouri. His parents bought the Greeley Graphic in the fall of 1923, changed the name to the Anderson Countian, and moved it to Garnett.
After studying at the University of Kansas, McCalla went to work on the Countian in 1924. He took over full operation of the paper in 1942 when his father retired, and in 1956 he and Earl Knauss merged the Countian with the Garnett Review and formed the Garnett Publishing Company.
McCalla was active in community and civic affairs. He served on the school board for nine years and the executive committee of the state Blue Shield board for six years. He also served as president of the Kansas Press Association in 1952. His father, Leonard McCalla Sr., served as Kansas Editorial Association president in 1941.
McCalla died February 22, 1984, at age 75.